On a cold January day in 1962, a Croatian music teacher named Frane Selak was traveling from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik by train. Well, that’s where he thought he was going.
Little did he know the train carrying Selak in 1962 jumped the tracks and plunged into an icy river but he managed to swim back to shore very happy to be alive.
One year later, Selak was on a plane when a door blew off the plane and he was sucked out of the aircraft. Selak woke up in a hospital – he’d been found in a haystack and had only minor injuries.
In 1966 he was riding on a bus that went off the road and into a river.
Then in 1970 he was driving along when his car suddenly caught fire. He managed to stop and get out just before the fuel tank exploded and engulfed the car in flames.
Shockingly in 1973 a faulty fuel pump sprayed gas all over the engine of another of Selak’s car while he was driving it, blowing flames through the air vents. His only injury: he lost most of his hair. His friends started calling him “Lucky.”
To continue in 1995 he was hit by a city bus in Zagreb but received only minor injuries.
Then in 1996 he was driving on a mountain and drove the car through a guardrail, jumped out, landed in a tree – and watched his car explode 300 feet below.
But how does the story of Frane Selak end? Luckily, of course. In June 2003, at the age of 74, Selak bought his first lottery ticket in 40 years … and won more than $1 million.
“I am going to enjoy my life now, buy a house, a car, and a speedboat, and to marry his girlfriend.
(He’d been married four times before and reflected, “My marriages were disasters, too.”)