Unluckiest People: Stories of Tragedy and Misfortune

Explore 13 of the unluckiest people in the world, including lightning survivors and meteorite victims. Discover their unbelievable stories!
Unluckiest people in the world

Unluckiest people in the world have faced some of the most unthinkable disasters, accidents, and events that would have killed most people. These individuals have survived through it all, and their stories serve as a reminder that life is unpredictable and that we should be grateful for every day we have.

Frane Selak: The man with seven brushes with death

Frane Selak, a Croatian music teacher, claimed to have had not one, but seven brushes with death. His close calls are said to have included a train crash, being sucked out of an airplane door, surviving a bus crash into a river, two car fires, being hit by a bus, and narrowly avoiding a 300 ft drop after a driving accident. He is later believed to have had his fortunes turned with a rather large lottery win, which he decided to give away.

Costis Mitsotakis: The filmmaker who missed out on a jackpot

Greek filmmaker Costis Mitsotakis is another unfortunate soul often dubbed the ‘world’s unluckiest man.’ He was the only resident in a small Spanish village not to win a share of a whopping $922 million jackpot in 2011. As the only person not to buy an El Gordo lottery ticket, he missed out as all his neighbors cashed in. So, what did he do — wallow? Of course not. He made a film about it.

Henry Ziegland: The Texan farmer with a deadly bullet

Henry Ziegland probably thought he was the luckiest man alive. The story goes that in 1893 Zeigland broke up with his girlfriend Maysie Tichnor after revealing he had been unfaithful to her. Heartbroken, Tichnor committed suicide. Her brother, Henry, sought to avenge her death by riding over to Ziegland’s farm and shooting at him with a pistol. The bullet just missed Ziegland’s face and hit a tree. One day 20 years later, while out felling trees with his son, Ziegland came across the tree with the bullet buried in it. Instead of chopping it down, he decided to blow it up with dynamite. Having lit the fuse, he marched 50 yards away and watched. The dynamite exploded and fired the bullet out of the tree. It struck Ziegland in the head, killing him instantly.

Roy Sullivan: The human lightning rod

Roy Sullivan, a former park ranger, was nicknamed the ‘human lightning rod’ and features in the Guinness World Records for surviving more lightning strikes than anyone else in recorded history. In a particularly unlucky period, he was struck four times in five years, between 1969 and 1973.

Melanie Martinez: The woman who lost five houses to hurricanes

Melanie Martinez, known as the ‘unluckiest woman in America,’ seems to be cursed when it comes to hurricanes and houses. While living in Louisiana, the school bus driver has lost five houses to hurricanes in the storm-prone area.

James Howells: The man who lost 8,000 bitcoins

Welshman James Howells has been trying to find a computer hard drive in a landfill site for the last few years. The reason he is so keen to find the hard drive that got thrown in the trash is simple; it has 8,000 bitcoins on it. Unfortunately for Howells, his pleading with Newport council has fallen on deaf ears and they continue to refuse his demands for an excavation project to take place. Sadly, this means Howells may never recover his buried treasure.

Violet Jessop: The nurse who survived multiple shipwrecks

Violet Jessop, an Irish-Argentine nurse and ocean liner stewardess, was jinxed when it came to traversing the waves — she was on both the RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic ships when they sank in the early 1900s. Not only that, but she was also on board the RMS Olympic when it suffered an at-sea collision.

John Lyne: The man with 16 major accidents

John Lyne boasts a CV crammed full of unlucky, and perhaps hapless, events. The Brit estimates that he has had 16 major accidents in his life. This includes falling off a horse and cart, being run over by a van, falling down a manhole, lightning strikes, car crashes, an accident in a mine, and the clincher: Falling out of a tree and then breaking his arm in a bus crash on his way back from the hospital.

Sigurd Eysteinsson: The Viking who died from a scratch

Sigurd Eysteinsson was the second Earl of Orkney from 875-892 and led a Viking conquest of Northern Scotland. Known as a fierce warrior, “The Mighty” once challenged a local lord called Máel Brigte the Buck-Toothed, to a 40-man-a-side battle. Looking for a way to boost his chances of winning, Eysteinsson decided to bring 80 soldiers with him to the fight. With a two to one advantage Eysteinsson and his men butchered the enemy. After the fight was over, Eysteinsson beheaded Máel Brigte and tied the severed head to his saddle as a trophy. While riding home on his horse, Máel Brigte’s famous teeth rubbed against Eysteinsson’s leg, giving him a little scratch. This small wound became infected and Eysteinsson contracted sepsis. He later died of the infection.

Ann Hodges: The woman struck by a meteorite

Ann Hodges makes this list for meteorite misfortune. The Alabama native was struck by a meteorite in 1954. She was the only person in history to have been hit by a space rock. The meteorite burst through her ceiling, bounced off her radio, and hit her thigh.

In conclusion, these individuals have had some of the worst luck imaginable. They have survived disasters, accidents, and events that should have killed them. Their stories serve as a reminder that life is unpredictable and that we should be grateful for every day we have.