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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Dec 10th

Dec 10, 2015 is the date that my husband of 30 years passed away. My younger sister had cancer and passed Dec 10, 2019. Tomorrow is Dec 1st and my mother is saying she is near the end. Her skin was pale and thin like paper today. Bruising on her thin hands. Will she pass on Dec 10th? I will write more if this happens. Giving me the shivers. I am getting anxiety over this. My old blind dog has got me through all this. Will he be there for me when my mother passes? LB

Birthday coincidence

My father’s birthday is Aug 9. His youngest brother’s birthday is also Aug 9. My father’s oldest granddaughter’s birthday is 4/18. His youngest brother’s, oldest granddaughter’s birthday is also 4/18.

Strange Timing, again

Thanksgiving day can be emotional for me. I have lost three important men in my life all within a week of thanksgiving. This year we lost our dog on nearly 17 years the week before. I’d been in good control of emotions most of the day and felt ok with the world. We watch tv a lot in the evenings but always try to be in bed by 10, we are rarely, if ever, up later than 10. Thanksgiving this year, 2020, our daughter left after dinner so my husband and I settled in to watch a couple episodes of new series.

Scientific publication synchronicity

While being a maths graduate student I was enrolled (as a participant) in a phase-3 clinical trial in 2006. Several years later, completely coincidentally, I had become a clinical trials statistician myself. In 2009 I was in charge of the data analysis of my first trial; a phase-2 clinical trial in a completely different field of medicine. The trial's results got accepted for publication in The Lancet in 2010. Reviewing the draft I accidentally discovered the results of the phase-3 trial were being published in the same volume of the journal.

I know when people will die but at the same time i dont its weird

so lets start with my grandma on my dads side so basically i rarely visited her but i started thinking about her dying for a week straight and i had no idea why i mean i had dreams and visions everything and then this one day on the morning of school i had this dream she passed away and when i got home my stepmother said she had passed and we sat at the top of the stairs crying and my stepmom was like why are you crying im surprised you care about her that much and i just stared at her i couldn't tell her that i was crying because I knew my grandma was gonna die because i had these vision

Death and Birth

Our mother died on September 11, 1995, which has since become a national day of mourning. Months after, while cleaning out her home, we discovered a sheet from the International Red Cross declaring that her younger brother, who was unable to leave Germany before the war, had died on September 11, 1942. On checking the Hebrew date of his death, it turned out to be Erev Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the Jewish year. Our first child was born September 16, 1974. The Hebrew date of her birth was Erev Rosh Hashanah.

Death Pattern?

My dad's dad died at 56 yrs old, my dad was 33 yrs old then My dad died at 56 yrs old , I was 33 then. My son was 19 when his dad died and I was 37. My son was 37 when he died and his son was 19 and I was 56.

Three consecutive births

The first three children in my family were born on the same day. None were induced or planned. 1945,1949 and 1952. We were from Manson, Iowa.

30 hours and three continents

Not one of the usual ones that spans decades, this is a series of coincidences that lasted only about 30 hours but spread across three continents... In November 2003 I got on a plane flying from Heathrow to LAX, where I was to catch a separate flight form there to the Pacific island of Samoa. I took my seat and a few moments later another person sat next to me. As the flight was long we struck up a conversation.

COLLEGE ROOMMATE HAS THE SAME BIRTHDAY

my college roommate has the exact same birthday as me and year.

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