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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Neighbors

My family moved into the home we have now in 2014. The man next door lived here for most of his life, his father built this house in 1998. His wife has the same name as me only spelled differently, she has the same birthday as me but not the same year. We are very much alike as far as our personalities and interests and the things we do and buy. We have become best friends and we are neighbors and she also lived in this house with her husband years before we moved here. I think we were meant to find each other, maybe a coincidence, may not.

Premonition? Coincidence?

It was my 11th wedding anniversary and my mother stayed overnight with our kids . The following morning my husband and I were having breakfast in the hotel when my husband started talking about the new pistol that he had bought. I was not even interested and was just kinda not really listening about it. He noticed this and said “listen, you need to know how to use this gun Incase something ever happens to me and I can’t use it. You need to pull really hard from the front.” So to appease him, I said “okay pull hard from the front.” Then the subject changed and we went on with our day.

Keys

I lost my keys and then I found them.

Kindergarten Teacher

I went to see a Flamengo Dancer Show in Barcelona. I was there with my family. We were at a long table with other people. The woman seated across from me started a conversation. We are both from Brooklyn, NY. We both went to elementary school at PS 277, about 10 years apart. We both were in Mrs. Gottesman's Kindergarten class! Small world.

4 Marks in a Line

My father, called Mark, was recently held in a queue for a coffee at a Starbucks and as such was asked for his name when he made his order. He gave it and moved on. The next person came up and gave their name, also as Mark. This happened two more times, giving 4 people named Mark congregating by accident in a row within this line. Not only was this a great coincidence, but also made things confusing when it finally came to collect the coffee!

I believe that which I do not wish to believe

You can put aside all of the stories you've heard. I'm the only source for the true meaning of real " Coincidences ". During the past thirty - five / forty years I've had anywhere from two thousand to many thousands of them. Depends on what would be considered to be meaningful . Really began around 1982 , involved a second involvement with a particular person. That's when the dam broke. In earlier years I was aware that I would always do just the wrong thing in certain circumstances but did not place much importance in them.

The streets of London ARE paved with gold

I was working in the City of London and one lunchtime I strolled along Bishopsgate which is a busy road alongside Liverpool Street station. As I approached the Tesco store I saw a £5 note on the pavement, I stopped and looked around and it looked as if no-one had just dropped it so I went over to it and picked it up. My lucky day i thought! I moved on a few yards and there was a Big Issue selling his magazine, I'm pretty sure he didn't see my stoke of luck but I thought he probably needs it more than me and "easy come easy go" as they say.

Unepected links with one of my brothers

My wife attended a forty year anniversary of her school year last Saturday. We still live in the area. Today she went to a yoga class, not her normal one but an earlier one for some reason. At the class she met one of the women she had met for the first time in forty years last Saturday. In discussion afterwards she told my wife that she had never been to this class before either. They then started talking about what they were doing now and it became apparent that she worked at the John Lewis shop in Trafford Centre. My brother used to work there so my wife mentioned this.

Three Family Members Died Same Day, Same Month

My closest friend's elderly dad died on September 5, 2000. Her youngest brother had died in a car accident in his twenties on September 5, 1981. Her younger brother then died of cancer at 50 years old on September 5, 2012. What are the odds of this?

Duran Duran Concert

I was a late 30’s wife and mother who just moved to a new city. My husband and I became friendly with a couple down the street. The husband - “Chip” and I were both from a small city about 3 hours away. One evening we were hanging out with them talking about a high school. I mentioned I had passed on seeing the Police in concert but somehow made it to Duran Duran in our city in the early 80’s.

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