The story of Roy Sullivan


Statistically, getting hit by lightning seven times is about twenty-two septillion to one. That’s 22,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. to 1. Still that is what happened to Roy Sullivan, a park ranger a Virginia National Park.

In April 1942, Sullivan was in a fire tower when a thunderstorm struck. According to Sullivan himself,  the bolt created a half inch stripe down his right leg and caused the nail on his big toe to fall off.

The second time Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning in July 1969. A summer storm hit while he was driving his truck and a flash came through his open window, striking him, charring his wristwatch and burning his eyebrows.

The third time Roy was struck by lightning, he was home, tending to his garden, when a clear sky turned ominous and lightning struck a power transformer nearby. Besides the transformer being hit, Sullivan got a glancing blow to his shoulder. At this point, Roy was getting nicknames like “The Human Lightning Rod.”

Roy himself described the fourth time he was struck as, “There was a gentle rain, but no thunder until just one big clap, the loudest thing I ever heard. When my ears stopped ringing, I heard something sizzling. It was my hair on fire.”

The fifth one supposedly happened again while traveling in his truck in a storm. After he felt the storm had passed, he exited his truck only to be hit and knocking him to the ground.

The sixth time, he claimed he was convinced the storm was following him and out to get him. He was hit, resulting in serious burns on his chest and stomach area.

Finally the seventh time he was struck by lightning was while he was fishing. He once again sustained burns and nearly lost consciousness before picking himself up and heading to the car to go seek medical treatment.

An eventful life of Frane Selak

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.”)