Frane Selak is a Croatian music teacher whose seven brushes with death have earned him the title “World’s Luckiest Man” or “The Luckiest Unlucky Man In The World”.
His losing/winning streak began in 1962, when a train he was riding on flipped off the tracks and crashed into a river. Frane was pulled to safety while the other seventeen unfortunate passengers drowned. He suffered a broken arm and hypothermia.
The following year, during his (understandably) first and only plane ride, he was blown out of a malfunctioning airplane door and landed in a haystack. The plane crashed, killing nineteen people.
Three years later, in 1966, a bus that he was travelling in crashed into a river, drowning four passengers. Frane managed to swim to shore with cuts and bruises.
In 1970, his car caught fire, but he was able to escape before the fuel tank exploded.
Three years later, the engine of another car he was driving was doused in oil from a malfunctioning fuel pump. This caused flames to shoot out the air vents. Frane’s hair was singed but he was otherwise unharmed.
In 1995, he was struck by a bus in Zagreb, but sustained only minor injuries.
In 1996 he had a near-miss head-on collision with a United Nations truck on a mountain road. He was able to avoid the truck by hitting the guardrail but this gave way under the weight of the force. Frane was ejected from the car when the door flew open (he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt) but managed to hold on to a tree and watch his car plummet ninety metres into a gorge.
In 2003, two days before his seventy-third birthday, Frane won €800,000 in the Croatian lottery. He purchased two houses and a boat with his winnings and, in 2010, decided to give most of the remaining money away to friends and relatives, after deciding to live a more frugal life.
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