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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Telling me something?

This series of happenings took place in roughly a 12 hour span...beginning in the evening and ending the next morning. It was October of 2000 in Virginia when my then girlfriend gave me 2 books for my B-day. One was titled The Celestine Prophecy and the other was The new Rolling Stone encyclopedia of rock and roll. I opened the latter around 9pm that evening and started to read about Bob Marley...a favorite artist of mine. I then put the book down and turned on the tv. I surfed some channels until I landed on a PBS program about..who else..Bob Marley, his music, and Jamaica politics.

Notre Dame day

>15th April, 2019 (yesterday ) was my worst day for months, probably for years. I felt physically and psychologically absolutely down. I was to lie on a field motionless for I don´t know how long, as if someone was about to die. Late in the afternoon I decided to go to a church to confess ( what I had not done for a long time ). I entered the nearby Catholic Church at appr. 18. 00, confessed and remained seated in a bank staring and semi-consciously listening what the priest was to say. I left at appr. 19.00.

Met again

While I was a child I spent one of my school holidays in Oman at the beach and we met a fellow German, elderly lady and spent some time talking. Couple months later I was at a friend's place who was invited to his grandma's birthday and took me along. Arriving at his grandma's place I found her to be the lady from the beach in Oman.

Humans Crossing Paths

Ever since I was a child my dad would throw a fit about backing out of the driveway and there ALWAYS being a car coming down the road at that exact instant every single time. There would be no cars coming down our street before he left or after he left, just at the same exact time when he was pulling out of the driveway. Now, I'm sure many people experience and complain about the same thing and I didn't think about it too much until I started to see the same uncanny type of events start to happen in my own life.

Lots of sixes

A person whose phone number 10 digits taken by pairs always add up to "6" makes an appointment for the 6th day of the month at 15:00 (1+5 = 6).

Old Crush

So last night, my friends and I were talking about guys we used to like. I have not talked to him since elementary or seen him since him since middle school. I am in 10th grade now. I started looking at, lets call him Jeffery's instagram profile. I had a major crush on him during elementary school. My friends were telling me to hit him up because we do not go to the same school anymore. I did not. Later, when I had gotten home, my family was watching a movie. The first thing I notice was that one of the characters had the same name as Jeffery.

Birthday number sequence

The number sequence will only be apparent when considered in the USA date format (MM-DD-YYYY, as odd as that is). My son was born as 1:23am on April 5th 2006 (4-5-2006). So with a bit of imagination he was born with the time and date number sequence of 1 2 3 4 5 6.

Music and dreams

A month ago I went to a concert, which included some pieces played with traditional Chinese instruments. There was a solo guqin, which I had never seen nor heard before, and as I listened to it I saw a battle unfold before me. An old man was sitting in the middle of a path leading into the mountains, his legs crossed and a guqin in front of him. His face was hidden under a hat and as they pluked the strings an army of corpses fought for him. The more erratic the sound of the guqin got the fiercer the fight.

Travel Coincidence

I was one day talking with my flatmate about this very dear friend of mine who is knowledgable in French (my flatmate is from France). I mentioned to her that he often travels to Paris around early December so I had plans to ask him if he was going to leave in winter 2018 as well. This was brought up because my flatmate was travelling to Paris that week-end (some time in end of October - early November). I then, on the same day, asked my friend if and when he was going, expecting either a negative reply or December as a date.

(Un)expected meetings

Tired with the towny life I decided ot buy myself a ticket to a bigger city last year. As it was holiday period in the summer I expected I might run into a few familiar faces, yet I still found this experience very surprising. Of all the people I could possibly meet I ended up crossing paths with someone whom I had just met a few weeks prior but who had left a strong impression on me. A few minutes later, at the same location, I caught sight of another, less familiar, person who had been drinking tea at work while sitting not too far from me almost every day for the past 3 weeks or so.

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