• David C.

Winner of $1,000,000: Luckiest unlucky man or unluckiest lucky man?

Updated: Jun 9, 2019

Editor: Sean L.

The Gypsy Proverb ‘after bad luck comes good fortune’ became very true for the Croatian truck cleaner, Frane. In his life, Frane escaped from a derailed train, then he miraculously survived flying out of a door-less plane and later survived a bus crash. As if that had not been enough already, he survived four more car accidents during the years to follow. But then he who seemed to be the world’s unluckiest man turned his fate completely upside down and won 1,000,000 dollars in the lottery!

Frane said that he can either be looked as “the world’s unluckiest man, or the world’s luckiest man,” and he prefers the latter. “I know God was watching over me all these years.” Frane did reputedly refuse to fly to Australia to air on a Doritos commercial though. He “didn’t want to test his luck.”

Timeline: 1963: While traveling from Zagreb to Rijeka the door blew away from the cockpit, forcing him out of the plane. Although 19 others were killed, he suffered only minor injuries and had miraculously landed in a haystack. 1966: Frane was riding on a bus that crashed and plunged into a river. Four others were killed, but Selak managed to escape. Unharmed. 1970: Selak managed to escape before a faulty fuel pump engulfed his car into flames. 1973: Another of Selak’s cars caught fire, forcing fire through the air vents. He suffered no injuries, only the loss of most of his hair. 1995: Selak was hit by a city bus, but once again suffered minor injuries. 1996: Frane drove off a cliff to escape an oncoming truck. He managed to get out of the car and land in a tree. He watched as his car exploded 300 feet below him. 2003: The heavens seemed to review his case: he won $1,000,000 in the lottery!


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