They say that fortune favours the brave – although this may well be open to debate. But there’s no doubt that some people really do seem to be luckier than others. It may be because they’ve walked under fewer ladders than the rest of us or perhaps it’s one of the many other superstitious reasons said to bring us good luck. Or it could just be that the fickle finger of fate has picked them out for special treatment. Whatever it is that separates the heroes from the zeros there are also some people that just seem to be super lucky and here are five prime examples.
Picture the scene. You’re in a plane flying over Norway and you’re on your way to complete a parachute jump. You’re probably a little nervous about it, possibly thinking that the main risks will be your parachute failing to open or having a hard landing. What you’re really not expecting is for the danger to come from above. But that’s just what Anders Helstrup experienced when he jumped from the plane. It’s hard to imagine just how surprised he was when, as he floated to Earth, a meteorite hurtled past just missing him on its rapid descent from space.
It may sound like a tall story but fortunately, Anders was filming his jump so the whole event was captured on camera. When he uploaded the video of the extraordinary event it came to the attention of some academic astronomers who were able to confirm that a far larger meteor had broken up around 20km above him and it was a fragment of this that had missed him by inches. It was also the first ever recording of a meteorite falling from the sky without a flaming tail.
During the Second World War Tsutomu Yamaguchi was an engineer working for Mitsubishi. His job involved traveling all around Japan, so it came to be that he found himself in a town called Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. That was the day the United States dropped the first nuclear bomb on Japan in an attempt to end the war in the Pacific. Injured, but alive still, Yamaguchi left the devastation to head back to his family where he hoped to be able to convalesce at his leisure.
Unfortunately for him, his family home happened to be in Nagasaki which was next in line for a nuclear bomb, which was dropped on the town on 9 August. Once again he was caught in the blast, once again emerging relatively unscathed. However, the experience led to him becoming a lifelong campaigner against nuclear weapons. In 2009 he was finally officially recognized as the only person in the world to have survived two nuclear explosions. A year later he died, at the grand old age of 93, at home in Nagasaki.
Pedro Grendene Bartelle
You might think that Bartelle was already lucky enough. He was born into the family that owns the world’s biggest sandals manufacturer, Vulcabras-Azaleia, and which makes millions every year from the Havaianas brand of Brazilian flip-flops.
But one night in 2017 he was visiting the casino at Hotel Conrad in Punta Del Este, Uruguay with a group of friends when they decided to try their luck at the roulette wheel. Never a man to hedge his bets, he put $35,000 on a single number, 32 red. This bold move attracted the attention of many other players in the casino who waited with bated breath as the ball spun around the wheel – and came to rest in 32 red.
The casino erupted as Bartelle and his friends celebrated a win said to amount to $3.5 million – although it was never revealed whether the croupier for the night also enjoyed a lucky windfall in the form of a tip from the Brazilian.
Roulette’s a game that’s won or lost in an instant – Bartelle just so happened to be on the right side of history in this case. While it’s essentially a game of chance, there are some solid approaches to the game that can help you win big. Check out this comprehensive guide and find a roulette strategy that works for you – and you could soon be joining Bartelle and the many other winners in the roulette hall of fame.
Moran’s story is an incredible combination of being able to cheat death as well the odds of a lottery. It all began when he was involved in a very serious accident in his native Australia when his car was crushed under a truck. He was pronounced dead but miraculously came back to life 12 minutes later. He was then in a coma for 14 days even surviving when life support had been removed. When he had recovered he marked the achievement by trying his luck on a scratch card and promptly won a car worth $25,000.
When a local news station asked to do a feature on him they brought along another card for him to scratch on air. It’s hard to know who was the most surprised when the camera rolled, he took out a coin and scratched off the silver covering only to discover that he’d won another $250,000.
Cats might lead the way with nine lives but Croatian Frank Selak comes a close second with seven. His incredible run of luck began in 1962 when the train he was traveling in derailed and fell into a freezing river. He was pulled to safety suffering only a broken arm and hypothermia. A year later he was on a plane that crashed but before it hit the ground he fell out of a faulty door and landed on a haystack.
Three years later he again found himself in a freezing river after his bus had slid off the road, but he managed to swim to safety. In 1968 the injuries were self-inflicted – a gun he was loading went off and soon after was also involved in no less than two separate car fires.
In 1996, Selak swerved to avoid a lorry on a mountain road. He lost control of his car and was thrown free before it plunged 300 feet into a ravine. Then, to cap it all, in 2003 two days after his 73rd birthday, he won $1.1 million in the Croatian National Lottery. Now that is a life lived to the full.