When music teacher Frano Selak gave away the £600,000 he won in the Croatian lottery he made headlines around the world. But his win wasn’t the first time Selak had made the headlines or the event that has had him dubbed the world’s luckiest man.
In 1963, Selak was blown out of an airplane when the door blew off. 19 people died but Selak landed in a haystack and survived with minor injuries.
This wasn’t Selak’s first brush with death. The year previously Selak’s train to Dubrovnik derailed into an icy river. 17 passengers died but Selak survived with hypothermia and a broken arm.
Though he never flew again he has since emerged largely unscathed from numerous near death experiences with other forms of transportation. In 1966 he was again plunged into a river, this time on a bus journey. Nearly 30 years later another bus hit him but caused little bodily harm.
Cars have failed three times to kill the man. In the first incident, his car caught fire on the motorway. He escaped seconds before the fuel tank exploded. The next time he wasn’t quite so lucky losing his hair when flames blew through the vehicle’s air vents.
In his last brush with death in 1996, Selak swerved off a mountain road to avoid an oncoming UN truck. Seconds before his car hit the bottom of a 300 foot drop he jumped clear, landing in a tree just in time to see his car explode.
After selling his home on a private island and his giving away the lottery win Selak, now in his eighties, moved into a small house in Zagreb to live the simple life with his fifth wife.
Considering his four previous marriages to be as much disasters as his near death experiences, Selak commented: “I never thought I was lucky to survive my brushes with death; I thought I was unlucky to be in them.”
Image courtesy ktylerconk