Frane Selak – The “Unlucky” Millionaire Lottery Winner

Poor Frane Selak. You would think that somebody who suffered this much ill fortune wouldn’t consider that the fates would ever smile upon him:

Frane Selak avoided a train crash amongst other accidents

  • In 1962, the train on which he was travelling derailed. 17 people died in the accident and he suffered a broken arm
  • In 1963, 19 people were killed when the plane he was travelling in blew a door. A haystack saved his life
  • In 1966, 4 people died when a bus on which he was travelling plunged into a river. Frane Selak escaped unharmed once more
  • In 1970, his car exploded moments after he escaped, realising it was going to blow
  • In 1973, another of his cars caught fire. Flames ripped through the air vents and singed his hair
  • In 1995, a bus hit him in his home city. Again, he survived with only minor injuries
  • In 1996, he drove off a cliff to avoid being crushed by an oncoming truck

But you would be wrong about his poor fortune. Frane Selak must have spent his whole life wondering when his luck would run out and fate would serve him his death sentence, but it wasn’t to be. In fact, the opposite happened. In 2006 after over 40 years of ill fortune, he won the equivalent of $1M (US) or about $670,000 on the Croatian National Lottery.

Suddenly, all the bad luck in the world for Frane Selak was put into perspective. Being a religious man, he felt that God was looking over him. Following the win, he was asked to fly to Australia to appear in an advert for popular snack Doritos but refused to test his luck. He takes pride in the fact that he is considered lucky (because of his win and because he narrowly avoided death so many times) or unlucky because he managed to avoid the fates so many times.

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