It often seems like some people just have all the luck.
Click start to play today’s Spell It, where we learn how ‘luck’ had a huge role to play in certain people’s lives, across history.
The subject has long been a source of debate. Are people lucky or do they make their own luck? While fate and chance have their role to play, our attitudes and actions cannot be dismissed. Still, there’s no denying that unexplainable moments of luck can have a significant impact on an individual’s life.
We take a look at a few who are considered among the luckiest people to have ever lived, according to an April 2023 report in the UK-based magazine Reader’s Digest:
1. Frane Selak
Croatian music educator Frane Selak’s lucky streak kicked off in 1962. In that year, he was on a train that derailed and plunged into the river, killing 17 passengers. Selak, however, survived, by escaping the wreckage and swimming to shore – he had just a few minor injuries. In 1963, Selak had another near-death experience when the plane he was on burst into flames and crashed, killing 19 people. Selak managed to jump out of the plane before it hit the ground, and miraculously landed in a haystack. Over the next years of his life, Lady Luck was by his side – he survived a bus crash, a car crash, an explosion in his home and other accidents. Then, in 2003, he won the Croatian national lottery – a grand prize of 1 million euros (Dh3.98 million)! Talk about luck.
2. Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Yamaguchi faced – and survived – both atomic bombings during the Second World War. The Japanese engineer and translator was in Hiroshima on a business trip, when the first atomic bomb fell on August 6, 1945. He suffered severe burns and injuries, but managed to escape the city and survive the initial blast. When he returned to his hometown of Nagasaki on August 9, he was just three kilometres away the from epicentre of the second atomic bomb – but once again, managed to survive. Yamaguchi went on to live a long, productive life, often sharing his story with others as a reminder of the resilience of the human spirit.
3. Violet Jessop
As a stewardess aboard the RMS Titanic, which hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, Jessop was able to survive by boarding a lifeboat. The Titanic wasn’t her last experience with a ship accident, though, since she was also on board the RMS Olympic when it collided with another ship in 1934. Her luck continued when she once again survived the sinking of the RMS Britannic during the First World War. The ship hit a mine in the Aegean Sea, and Jessop managed to escape on a lifeboat. Despite the trauma and injuries she acquired during her ordeals, she went on to work as a nurse during the Second World War, a testament to her resilience and strength.