Sunday, September 21, 2008

The World's Luckiest Man

Frane Selak (born 1929) is a Croatian music teacher famous for his supposed numerous escapes from fatal accidents.

In January, 1962, for example, Selak was traveling via train from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik. However, the train had suddenly derailed and plunged into an icy river, killing 17 passengers. Selak managed to escape, and only suffered a broken arm and minor scrapes and bruises.

The following year, while flying from Zagreb to Rijeka when 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.

In 1966, he was riding on a bus that crashed and plunged into a river. Four others were killed, but Selak managed to escape unharmed.

In 1970, he managed to escape before a faulty fuel pump engulfed his car into flames.

In 1973, another of Selak's cars caught fire, forcing fire through the air vents. He suffered no injuries save the loss of most of his hair.

In 1995, he was hit by a city bus, but once again suffered minor injuries.

Also, in 1995, Frane was riding his bicycle through the crowded city streets, when inexplicably he was runover by a buffalo. Luckily an idian medicine man was present at the scene and revived him with the anti buffalo antedote.

In 1996 he escaped when he drove off a cliff to escape an oncoming United Nations truck. He managed to land in a tree, and watched as his car exploded 300 feet below him.

In 2003 he won in the Croatian lottery, and had stated that "I know God was watching me over all these years." He has reputedly refused to fly to Australia to air on a Doritos commercial, saying he "didn't want to test his luck."

He has said that he can either be looked as "the world's unluckiest man, or the world's luckiest man," and prefers the latter.

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," he said. "I feel like I have been reborn. I know God was watching over me all these years." He told reporters that he planned to 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.")

In 2004 Selak was hired to star in an Australian TV commercial for Doritos. At first he accepted the job, but then changed his mind and refused to fly to Sydney for the filming. Reason: He said he didn’t want to test his luck.

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