Introducing 25 luckiest people in the world! This list includes lottery ticket winners, people who cheated death, and even treasure hunters who made incredible discoveries! Of course, you can’t be lucky all the time, but it seems some people were just born under the right stars. It’s not fair, of course, but it is what it is. Call it kismet, call it fate, but some people just find a way to beat incredible odds. Some of these stories are so incredible, you likely won’t believe them. Check out these extreme examples of what’s possible when lady luck smiles upon you.
Born in 1814, Sax survived more close calls with death than seems possible. Throughout his childhood, he fell from three stories up and hit his head on a rock, he drank a bowl of sulfuric acid, he swallowed a needle, was burned by exploding gunpowder, fell onto a red-hot skillet, nearly drowned in a river, was struck in the head by a falling cobblestone, and several times went to bed surrounded by newly varnished furniture (the suffocating fumes of the fresh varnish could have easily done him in).
It was so exacerbating that his mother reportedly felt that “He’s a child condemned to misfortune; he won’t live.” But live, he did. Adolphe Sax is the creator of the saxophone and his persistent, or lucky, survival forever changed the world of music.
Yorgos Kentrotas and Oliver Voutier
This is a case of being in just the right place, at just the right time. Kentrotas was a meager farmer on the island of Milos where French officer Voutier had stopped. Voutier noticed that while Kentrotas was gathering stones for his farm, he stopped suddenly. What Kentrotas unearthed was a sculpture of beauty, the famed Venus Milo statue of ancient Greece.
Though they don’t seem to have fallen into riches as a result, of all the “stones” to find, Kentrotas picked a great one!
Pavel, Petko, and Michail Deikov
These three brothers were digging for clay in Bulgaria and found much, much more than they ever expected. A treasure of ceremonial, and intricately decorated, items made of gold, dated from the 4th century BCE. With more than 13 pounds of gold, their find had been deemed a priceless value.
Finders of The Saddle Ridge Hoard
While out walking their dog, a California couple came across an old can sticking out from the ground. When they brought it home, they found it was full of gold pieces. They went back and eventually found eight cans in total with over 1,400 rare gold coins. It’s estimated value is around $10 million dollars!
Working in Hiroshima in 1945 when the nuclear attack occurred, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was lucky to survive. He returned home to Nagasaki shortly after and went back to work on August 9, the same day that city was under nuclear attack. After surviving them both, he became an advocate for nuclear disarmament.
Juliane Koepcke was the only survivor out of 92 passengers and crew members to survive the 1971 plane crash in the jungles of Peru. She wandered for nine days before reaching civilization.
Want to hear more jungle survival stories? You must check out Man Vs Jungle: Survival Stories
We’ve all seen treasure hunters combing the beach with metal detectors in hopes of finding something special. In 1980, Kevin Hillier found the largest gold nugget ever discovered with a metal detector. It’s valued at just over one million dollars!
It’s hard to judge whether a surviving a near-death experience is more or less lucky than winning the lottery, but Bill Morgan has done both!
Morgan was crushed by a truck and had been dead for more than 14 minutes, but somehow, he managed to survive. Though his heart was beating again, he was in a coma and expected to never regain a functional life. His family stopped life support but after 12 days, he woke up and suffered no brain damage! Once he was back on his feet, he took himself to get a scratch off ticket and won a new car. But his good fortune didn’t stop there. When television reporters heard about his situation, they invited him to reenact the winning moment by scratching another card. This time he won $250,000!
While shopping in a Nashville, Tennessee thrift shop, Sparks paid $2.48 dollars for a rolled copy of the Declaration of Independence. It was yellow with age but when Sparks looked closer, he found it to be one of only 35 copies that were made in 1823. The document was sold for nearly half a million dollars! Talk about a lucky find!
Andrew Jackson was doubly lucky. His would-be assassin shot at him, but the gun misfired. Jackson defended himself in a bit of a struggle and the man pulled another firearm. It, too, misfired! What seems especially lucky is that upon testing both guns, they each shot properly on the first try. The odds that both weapons would misfire were only one in 125,000.
Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khada
Mohammad Basheer Abdul Khada was flying out of Dubai International Airport in 2016 and before he left, he purchased a Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire lottery ticket. On his return trip home, the plane he was on crash landed. He and the other passengers miraculously walked away before the aircraft burst into flames. As fortune would have it, he later learned that the lottery ticket he had purchased before the whole ordeal was a winner and he became both survivor and millionaire!
Frane Selak is a survivor! He has survived his train falling into a lake, several car crashes, a bus running off the road into a river, he shot himself, and he even fell from a plane and landed in a pile of hay, saving his life yet again. While this seems to make Mr. Selak both the luckiest and the unluckiest person, he later won about one million dollars in a lottery which puts the odds squarely in his favor.
Dexter was an entrepreneur of the 18th century. Although his methods seemed at odds with creating wealth, he prospered many times. He purchased currency that was no longer in use (at a fraction of its original value) and it came back into use. He once took bed warmers to warm climates and when they didn’t sell, he called them ladles and they flew off the shelves!
The most unlikely of his fortunes was made when he aimed to provide coal to a place that already had plenty. When Dexter and his coal arrived, the existing coal mine was on strike and his stash was quickly consumed. His timing could not have been luckier!
In 1989, Elmer Sherwin won a $4.6 million-dollar jackpot in at a slot machine in Las Vegas. His later winnings in 2005 with the same game won him the $21 million-dollar jackpot!
Chris Duddy & Michael Benson
When their helicopter lost all power, it came hurling out of the sky. To survive such a crash alone was improbable. They didn’t just crash though, Duddy & Benson crashed into an active Hawaiian volcano. They spent two days surrounded by gargling lava and noxious gases before being rescued.
Jean Bernadotte was the French son of a lawyer who would later become King Karl XIV Johan of Sweden and King Karl III Johan of Norway. As you can imagine, many events had to fall into place in just such a way as to make this possible. As a young man, Bernadotte enlisted and quickly rose through military ranks until eventually Napoleon made him Marshall of the Empire in 1804. Sweden was hard up for a king and it’s thought that Bernadotte’s kindness to Swedish prisoners may have also played a part in making him a candidate for the Swedish throne. The Bernadotte Dynasty has ruled Sweden since.
In the end, Bernadotte’s was something you only see in the movies! No one ever gets that lucky, right?
Odds of winning the lotto are always bleak, but for Joan Ginther it seems to come easily. Incredibly, she has won multimillion-dollar jackpots four times and her winnings currently total $20.4 million dollars! Being a mathematician, many people suspect she knows how to play the odds right, but either way if I ever run into her in the lotto line, you can believe I’ll be playing her numbers!
In addition to finding stardom, Orlando Bloom has survived a mass of broken bones. He’s broken his left arm, left leg, right wrist, right leg, and a few ribs. He’s cracked his skull three times, broke his nose in a rugby game, and fell off a roof breaking his back. He’s lucky to even be walking still!
Being struck by lightning is a rather uncommon event, but Roy Sullivan was struck a total of seven times over the course of 35 years and survived every one. Though he sustained injuries each time, it was reportedly unrequited love that caused him to take his own life in 1983.
Finder of Seven Ty Cobb baseball cards
The family who discovered seven Ty Cobb baseball cards in a paper bag in their attic prefer to remain anonymous and it’s no wonder. They’ve quickly come into about one million dollars practically overnight. Finding one baseball card so valuable is very unlikely but to find seven century-old cards together and in fair condition, is a stroke of sheer luck!
In the late 13th century, this Buddhist monk’s beliefs ultimately caused him to be sentenced to death, but just as the executioner was about to behead him, a bright light in the sky blinded him and so his life was spared. Later, he was exiled instead of beheaded because of the bizarre event.
If you won one million dollars in a scratch off lottery, would you keep playing for more? That’s exactly what Robert Hamilton of Indianapolis, Indiana did in 2014. After winning one million dollars in Hoosier Lottery scratch off, he played the same game again and won a second, one-million-dollar prize. The odds of winning the game just once is one in more than two million!
Teddy Roosevelt’s 84-minute speech saved his life. The president survived an attempted assassination because his prepared speech (50 pages in length) was folded up and placed in his breast pocket along with his eye glass case. When the attacker shot Roosevelt in the chest, the bullet was slowed by the items in his pocket and instead of killing him, it was simply lodged in his rib. Despite being shot, Roosevelt went on to give the speech, famously saying “it takes more than that to kill a bull moose.”
Working as a remodeler, Gonzalez found a 1938 Action Comics #1 stuffed in the walls with newspaper. This comic book was the first to feature Superman on the cover and is valued at over $100,000!
Sixteen years after losing her wedding ring, Lena Påhlsson was pulling vegetables from her garden and reaped more than she expected. There, around a carrot, was the ring she’d lost so many years before.