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Croatian is world's luckiest unluckiest man

Posted on Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 | Comment icon 37 comments

Selak's life has been one big lottery. Image Credit:
Frane Selak has cheated death more times in the last 40 years than James Bond and Jack Bauer combined.
Born in 1929, Selak's life had been generally unremarkable up until 1962 when his miraculous escape from a train crash kick-started a lifetime of bizarre accidents that seemed to follow him wherever he went.

In 1963 the engines of a plane he had been traveling on suddenly stopped, sending the aircraft plummeting towards the ground. Everyone on-board the plane died except for Selak, who having been sucked out of a faulty door several thousand feet in the air without a parachute somehow managed to land perfectly on top of a haystack, leaving him with only minor injuries.

His bizarre streak of good/bad luck would continue over the next few decades as he endured being hit by a bus, skidding off the road in another bus and then having his car catch fire twice while he was driving it. In one incident he even swerved off the side of a 300ft cliff and only managed to survive by hanging on to a tree branch.

Having lived through so many disasters, Selak was finally rewarded by a definitively positive stroke of luck when in 2003 he bought a lottery ticket for the first time in 40 years and immediately won the jackpot of $1 million.

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (37)

Tags: Frane Selak

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #28 Posted by Paranoid Android on 8 May, 2014, 6:26
Wow, this is a crazy awesome story. I loved the Youtube vid, it brings the story to life in ways that the article simply couldn't. And it's been said, but it reminds me of the movie Unbreakable (a very underrated film, in my opinion - I enjoyed that one).
Comment icon #29 Posted by acidhead on 8 May, 2014, 6:43 Hmmm... there is no record of the plane crash and none of his claims besides the lotto win have been independently verified.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Paranoid Android on 8 May, 2014, 6:46
Thanks acidhead I just finished Google and wikipedia search, and was about to post something (or edit my previous post) similar. Still, it sounds like a good story, and I suppose if you want to get technical there's no evidence proving these things DIDN'T happen (not that you can actually prove a negative).
Comment icon #31 Posted by seeder on 8 May, 2014, 7:00
Thats a bummer because for me that was the best bit!! . .
Comment icon #32 Posted by Astra00 on 8 May, 2014, 9:11
Lol...awesome story..... fact really is stranger than fiction sometimes
Comment icon #33 Posted by Helen of Annoy on 8 May, 2014, 17:31
According to Croatian media, Frane fell out DC-8 that flew from Zagreb to Rijeka, in 1963. Plane door fell off above Gorski Kotar region. 20 passengers and flight attendant were sucked out the plane and died as they fell to the ground, only Frane and the attendant survived because he fell in the haystack, it wasn't said what saved the attendant. I can’t find anything official on the internet, but there are more things from our past that are not on the ‘net than there were put on line. So, it’s a job for someone with more time on their hands, or a journalist maybe, to find... [More]
Comment icon #34 Posted by Leonardo on 8 May, 2014, 17:58
A of the Aviation Safety and Security Archives (US-based, but does contain records of international accidents) locates no DC-8 crashes reported in 1963 anywhere. Not to claim Mr Selak is lying, but he may be mistaken in one or more of the details of the incident he recalls.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Ugly1 on 8 May, 2014, 18:58
Excellent response to the thread. Could you tell us some of your encounters in life that were lucky but unlucky? Stories like this fascinate me.
Comment icon #36 Posted by Helen of Annoy on 8 May, 2014, 21:42
In 1963 Croatia was part of socialist ex-Yugoslavia, and though it wasn’t part of Warsaw pact it was not less paranoid about everything. It’s more than possible such accident was not reported or was reported with deliberately changed facts, because there was nothing that wasn’t somehow a security issue, therefore worth hiding or misinterpreting. I’m not sure we even have accident archive of any kind. It sure isn’t on the Internet, because when I’m trying to search anything remotely like it, all I get are recent articles on mostly recent accidents, plus som... [More]
Comment icon #37 Posted by Arkitecht on 14 May, 2014, 1:56
Too many accidents in planes,trains,and automobiles.He needs a nice safe horse...

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