Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Why? By recording your coincidence stories here, you can help him build a picture of what kinds of coincidences are out there and which ones seem to ‘get to’ us the most. Your coincidence stories can also help him explore the scientific explanations which may account for them – whether by doing the maths to calculate the chances of a coincidence, or speculating on the weird and wonderful workings of our brains.

Coincidences tend to be ‘surprising matches’ – sometimes they are lucky, sometimes unlucky, sometimes just mind-boggling. To help you recall the coincidences that have happened in your life, here’s a list of some common types of coincidence:

  • Surprising repetitions: for instance when you’ve had not contact with someone for ages, then find two connections to them very close together in time. Or when over several years multiple members of the same family are born with the same birthday. Or even a repetition of a really rare event – like winning the lottery twice, or your life being saved twice by the same person!
  • Simultaneous events: for example when two people phone each other at exactly the same time.
  • Parallel lives: such as when two people in a small group find they share a birthday or an unusual name, or when two people discover their lives match each other in bizarre details.
  • Uncanny patterns: imagine picking letters in Scrabble that spell your name.
  • Unlikely chains of events: perhaps you lost your false teeth overboard and found them inside a fish you caught twenty years later?

If anything coincidental has happened to you - anything that made you stop and say "well, what were the chances of that..?" - then please record your story in the form below! Please try to keep your story personal - about you or someone you know. The only thing we'd ask you to steer clear of are premonitions or déjà vu, purely because - whilst fascinating - they're quite common and also difficult to analyse.

You could also tell us about coincidences in the news, but please provide a link to a reliable source!


Title: two or three words that give a simple description of your story, eg ‘old friend’ or ‘birthday coincidence’
Coincidence: tell your coincidence story - and please include plenty of relevant detail (places, dates, numbers etc.) and include your first name if you want.
Email address (optional): please leave an email address, as then we can get in touch to find out more!

All of the information entered below except your email address will be published on this website when you press save





By ticking this box you agree that your email address can be forwarded to Wingspan Productions Ltd, who are making a BBC television programme about Chance and would like to feature Professor David Spiegelhalter's coincidence collection. In doing so you agree that the producers of the programme may contact you directly to ask you more about your story, though whether you decide to help them is entirely up to you. Your details will not be forwarded to any other party or used for marketing purposes.



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Ms

I was trying to find some new music on YouTube and came across a great instrumental cover of Redemption Song. Next day I thought I would like to hear Bob Marley's original version of this song. So I went onto YouTube and searched it. After finding it I was about to press play and mute my radio at the same time but Redemption Song by Bob Marley came on the radio. I was actually so surprised that I had to sit down for a minute.

Coincidence with number 5

I'm RZ [edited]. My email address contains a 5 [edited]. As you can see, there is a 5 there. What's more, I was in class 5 from primary school to high school all the time. But I was transferred to class 10 in the last semester of my high school life, which is a multiple of 5.

Birthday Newspaper

My husband and I bought an old house to renovate. In the large loft, on pulling up some rough boarding, we found a newspaper spread out between the joists, over the old ceiling plaster. The tabloid style newspaper’s front page faced up. It was a big picture of Princess Anne, celebrating her first birthday. The day I was born.

Parallel Universe Story

My husband went to high school with a boy who shared his birthday. We went out to a local Chinese restaurant for my husbands 49th birthday. We live in a city of 1.2 million. My husband noticed his old high school friend at a nearby table with his family. We went to say hello after dinner. Not only do they share a birthday (and by chance went to the same restaurant to celebrate) but they both married Leannes, and each had three children (two girls and one boy). It was a weird experience and it felt like parallel lives.

My two grandfathers were born on the same date and died a day apart

My maternal grandpa, Philippe, was born August 17, 1917 and my paternal grandpa, Paul, was born August 17, 1888. Philippe died January 6, 1984 and Paul died January 7, 1971.

Multiple coincidences since moving countries

I first visited Australia in 2014 to complete a 2-month placement for my Masters degree, and moved here for good a year later. Since my first visit, a number of coincidences have happened which, despite not being superstitious, have made me feel I belong here. Here they are: </p> <p>1. My Masters placement was in Melbourne but I had two friends in Queensland who I planned to visit while I was in Australia. One friend lived on the Gold Coast, the other about an hour away in Brisbane.

Childhood Home

I underwrite mortgage loans. Of all the lenders in the USA, of all the loan underwriters in the USA, the childhood home that I lived in from 1974 to 1987 was the property/collateral that was assigned to me to underwrite!

Met People on the same Paris trip as myself, on an online server with thousands of people.

My friends and I play Minecraft. We were on one of the biggest servers with hundreds of thousands of people, at which point we joined a random lobby. We were chatting to a random girl, when we found out that she and her friends lived in the same city as us. Not only this, we found out while trading social medias that we went on a school trip to Paris at the same time in October half term 2019 and were in the SAME HOTEL.

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