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.

Vertical Tabs

My friend's son in Thailand

I talked to a friend of mine in Maryland and told her that I was going to Thailand on a trip. I told her that I owned a condo there and would be staying for several weeks. She said "Oh, that's great! My son is in Thailand now.

Strange dream and feeling before discovering the death of my ex-wife..

One morning I woke up with a strange feeling about an ex-wife that I had not seen or talked to in over 25 years. I had also heard almost nothing of her from friends, except that she had remarried. We had a short and not too loving of a marriage..... I had a short dream about her one night, that I discussed with my wife when I awoke. I dreamed that I had seen her in public. She looked young, slim, fit and healthy in my dream (even though her chronological age should have been almost 60), and she was smiling at me.

My friend's son in Thailand

I talked to a friend of mine in Maryland and told her that I was going to Thailand on a trip. I told her that I owned a condo there and would be staying for several weeks. She said "Oh, that's great! My son is in Thailand now.

a strange coincidence about a cat........

This story actually encompasses two coincidences. After I met my wife, we began to discuss family stories and I showed her some photos from my college days, including one of me in my cap and gown standing in front of the townhouse that I lived in while in school. My wife immediately recognized the townhouse development. She said "that's English Village in Memphis.

eerie coincidence in meeting my wife.......

One day over 25 years ago at lunch meeting while speaking with my office manager, she asked me what sort of woman I pictured when I thought about what my "perfect wife" would look like. I was single at the time and hadn't dated for a long time after a disastrous previous marriage. I described a very specific person with blue eyes, and a light, freckly complexion and long strawberry blonde hair. Also, a beautiful smile.

family coincidence discovered after meeting my wife

When I met my wife (that's another story all together about how that happened!), we fell for one another immediately. It was like lightning bolts had struck us both. I couldn't wait to get to know her and asked her out immediately. We went to dinner the day we met and started talking about family. I was living in Maryland at the time (that is where we met) and she was working for a company in Arkansas.

Matching Vivid Memories

This morning i woke up with a vivid memory of this atheletic choker like necklace. A little background about the necklace In 2010 while i was in 5th grade they were a fad lots of my peers wore them, they were suppose to give you energy or something weird like that but really it just caught on because everyone was wearing them especially atheletes. I always wanted one never got one though. anyway this morning (2019) I woke up and started havinf a vivid memory about all of this even picturing a the dark blue choker like cord with writing on it and circles on the ends.

Died on same date

My mother Lillian died on January 6,2002 around 4:00 pm This year her brother Michael and my fathers brother Roy both died January 6, 2019. One at 2:30 am the other at 4:00 pm.

Strange coincidence in Lab

I cannot remimber the date , but it was in 2016 , while I was working in Laboratory in Riyadh , as a unit assistant . I receive a lab request with a patient name Saleha Suliman Alessi , and immediately at the same time , another patient with exactly the same name , came with her request !!! I wounder how such uncommon name came at the same time with different MR numbers came together . I asked them : do you know each other , they replayd NO .

Sons Meeting

I’m a designer. I was sitting with a couple designing their kitchen. Had two meetings over two weeks to finalise things. Towards the end of our final meeting I asked if they had children that lived nearby, & we discovered our sons had been in jazz band together in high school in New Jersey. Then we found out they both live in the same area in Boston. We said we would text our sons that night to see if they remembered each other.