7 Unbelievable Lottery Winners’ Stories

1He escaped from a derailed train, a door-less plane, a bus crash, a car into flames, another 2 car accidents… then won a million dollar lottery

Here’s the story of how the world’s unluckiest man turned his fate upside down.Frane Selak, born in 1929, is a Croatian music teacher who used to be famous for his numerous escapes from fatal accidents:

  • In January, 1962, 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 traveling 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.
  • In 1996 he escaped when he drove off a cliff to escape an oncoming truck. He managed to land in a tree, and watched as his car exploded 300 feet below him.

But then, in 2003, the heavens seemed to review his case: he won $1,000,000 dollars in the Croatian lottery!

“I know God was watching me over all these years.” he said, and has reputedly refused to fly to Australia to air on a Doritos commercial, saying he “didn’t want to test his luck.”Frane also said that he can either be looked as “the world’s unluckiest man, or the world’s luckiest man,” and prefers the latter.

2Woman googles husband, finds he won the lottery but never told her

On 2007, Donna Campbell became suspicious of her husband, Arnim Ramdass, when he started to keep the television turned off and disconnected the phone line. Her suspicions rose when she found a postcard about a new home purchase.

But Campbell was unaware that her husband was hiding a $10.2 million secret from her until she Googled her husband’s name and lottery number. She found a Florida lottery press release that named 17 airline mechanics who won the jackpot, her husband was one of them.

The group of mechanics opted for the lump-sum payment of $10.2 million, meaning each of the 17 winners would receive about $600,000 before taxes.Since the winning, Ramdass took a leave of absence from work, according to his co-workers. He hasn’t shown up at the couple’s home and servers can’t find him to hand him the lawsuit papers: she wants half the money and out of the marriage.

3Doubled his share of the jackpot… by mistake!

When Derek Ladner next suffers from absent mindedness, he may think twice before cursing his poor memory. For the 57-year-old’s forgetfulness has landed him an amazing double lottery win.

He and his wife Dawn were elated when their six regular numbers came up on the midweek draw on 2007. They were quick to claim their £479,142 share of the £2,395,710 jackpot split between five winners. But, incredibly, a week later Mr Ladner remembered he had bought another ticket with the same numbers for the same draw.

That gave him two of the five shares of the jackpot on July 11, doubling his winnings to £958,284. A spokesman for lottery operator Camelot said it was the first time a player had won twice in the same draw! Mr Ladner’s forgetfulness cost the other three winners almost £120,000 each. Had he not bought the extra ticket, they would have split the jackpot four ways instead of five and won £598,927 a person.

4Run over by a truck, hours after his win

On 22 January 2004, 73-year-old Carl Atwood of Elwood, Indiana, who won $73,450 in an Indiana lottery game taped for television, died scant hours later. He was knocked down by a truck and expired shortly thereafter in an Indianapolis hospital.

That evening he had been walking to the grocery store that had sold him a winning ticket when a pickup truck rounded a corner and struck him. (The store was located one block from his home.) “It was at an unlighted intersection, and Mr. Atwood had dark clothing on, so the driver did not see him before he hit him,” Elwood Police Chief Toby R. Barker said.

5Won $16.2 million… got sued by everyone, went broke and died

William “Bud” Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his Social Security. “I wish it never happened. It was totally a nightmare,” says Post.

A former girlfriend successfully sued him for a share of his winnings. It wasn’t his only lawsuit. A brother was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill him, hoping to inherit a share of the winnings. Other siblings pestered him until he agreed to invest in a car business and a restaurant in Sarasota, Fla., – two ventures that brought no money back and further strained his relationship with his siblings. Post even spent time in jail for firing a gun over the head of a bill collector. Within a year, he was $1 million in debt.

Post admitted he was both careless and foolish, trying to please his family. He eventually declared bankruptcy. Now he lives quietly on $450 a month and food stamps. “I’m tired, I’m over 65 years old, and I just had a serious operation for a heart aneurysm. Lotteries don’t mean (anything) to me,” said Post. He died on Jan 15 of respiratory failure.

6Won the lottery twice after a dream

Many successful lottery entrants have said their winning combinations came to them in dreams; that they awoke with five or six numbers dancing in their heads, jotted the combinations down, played them, and won. Sometimes the dreamed-of numbers paid off right away, and sometimes the dreamers played those combinations for years before hitting the jackpot. So, that 86-year-old Mary Wollens of Toronto won the Ontario Lottery on 30 September 2006 after seeing “a lotto ticket and a large cheque” in a dream a couple of days before the drawing wasn’t all that unusual — the remarkable part was that her prophetic dream enabled her to win the same lottery twice.

You see, Mary had already purchased a lottery ticket with the combination she later dreamed about, but her vision instilled her with such confidence that she went out and bought a second ticket with those same numbers. Now, some people would consider purchasing a duplicate ticket be a foolish waste of money (because if your numbers lose, you’re needlessly out an extra dollar, and even if you hit the big jackpot, you don’t necessarily get any extra credit for winning twice), but not Mary — and good thing, too, because she happened onto one of those occasions when having a second ticket paid off big.

As things turned out, someone else had also correctly picked all six numbers for that week’s draw, so instead of having to split the $24 million jackpot evenly with another winner, Mary was able to claim a two-thirds share and take home $16 million!

7Committed suicide because he mistakenly believed his lotto numbers had come up the one week he didn’t play them

In April 1995 Timothy O’Brien committed suicide by shooting himself in the head because his half-share of a five-week ticket on Britain’s (then) new National Lottery had expired just before the draw he thought would have made him a multi-millionaire.

The truth is, even if he’d held a valid ticket for his usual numbers, O’Brien wouldn’t have won. The numbers that came up would have entitled the ticketholders to a prize of 47 pounds, not the 3.2 million he thought he and his partner had missed out on. And why? Because only four of the six numbers matched those drawn.