We’ve all had that day where we thought, “Why me?”. While you may consider yourself to be extremely unlucky, there are a few who are like lightning rods for disaster. Unlike those who are able to find success with whatever they do in life, fame and fortune did not go knocking on these people’s doors. Here, we are listing stories of 10 such individuals, who had some of the worst luck on the planet. Their stories will surely make you reconsider how lucky you are.
1. In 2011, the town of Sodeto, Spain won a $950 million lottery, except for one man named Costis Mitsotakis.
Every year, in the town of Sodeto, Spain, residents buy the El Gordo – the biggest lottery on Earth. In 2011, the homemakers’ association tried to reach the 250 residents living in Sodeto to encourage them to buy the lottery. While the homemakers’ association’s intention was good, they remembered to knock on all the resident’s doors, except for Costis Mitsotakis. When the drawing result was announced, the small town won the first price of $950 million.
The town with mostly farmers and unemployed construction workers became millionaires overnight. In fact, each ticket was worth $130,000, so the more tickets a person had, the higher their winnings. When the winners were announced, the Greek filmmaker Costis Mitsotakis was sound asleep, but woke up to see the whole town dancing and singing. Despite being the only person in an entire town to not win the lottery, Costis is staying positive. (source)
2. Ronald Wayne was one of the co-founders of Apple who sold his 10% stake for $800 because he thought that the company would fail. Today, a 10% stake in Apple would be worth more than $95 billion.
Owning 10% stake of Apple right now would make you a billionaire. However, one man knows that all too well after letting the opportunity slip away from his hands for as little as $800. Ronald Wayne was one of the co-founders of Apple who provided the company with “adult supervision” and also oversaw mechanical engineering. For his role, Wayne received a 10% stake of the company. But as business ensued, he started to become concerned about the company’s future. In the beginning, Steve Jobs was trying to kickstart the company and was taking huge risks. Wayne believed that if the company failed to recoup the money, Wayne, who had assets, would be held responsible to pay off the debts.
So, not wanting to bear financial responsibilities if things went South, Wayne had his name taken off of the contract and sold his shares back to his co-founders, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, for $800. Today, a 10% stake in Apple would be worth more than $95 billion. (source)
3. From 2014 – 2015, a man named Aitabdel Salem spent nearly five months at Rikers Island without knowing the fact that his bail was only $2.
In 2014, Aitabdel Salem, 41, was arrested for resisting arrest and other charges that include theft. Initially, his bail was set at $25,000, but when prosecutors could not get an indictment, the judge changed his bail to $2 for two other minor offenses. If Salem’s lawyer would have informed him about the change in bail amount, he could have paid the $2 and left Rikers Island. However, his first lawyer failed to mention the detail, causing Salem to spent nearly five months in prison before the fluke came out because of his second lawyer. (source)
4. A Russian woman who was looking up a street address on Yandex Maps, similar to Google Maps, found her fiancee walking down the street with another woman.
Similar to Google Maps, Russia has Yandex Maps; which unlike Google Maps, does not blur faces. In 2013, Marina Voinova was engaged to her boyfriend Alexander and was happily making preparations for their wedding. While searching for a venue, Voinova decided to use Yandex Maps to look up a street, which provided her with a panoramic view of the building. Along with the building, Voinova also received a glimpse of her fiancee, who was hanging out with someone who was not Voinova.
Voinova zoomed in and found that it was indeed her fiancee. She confronted him with the evidence and Alexander explained that it was foolish of him to do such a thing, promising her that it would never happen again. Voinova however, couldn’t accept his apology and decided to end their relationship. (source)
5. In 2012, Gary Harrington, an Oregon man, was fined $1,500 and sentenced to 30 days in jail for collecting rainwater.
We would consider, rain, air and sunlight to be natural resources that equally belongs to all mankind, however, in Oregon, you could face hefty fines or even jail time if you decide to collect rainwater. A 1925 state law gave the water commission exclusive rights to all the water in Big Butte Creek, its tributaries and Big Butte Springs. Gary Harrington built three reservoirs in his land and started collecting rain water for years. Since the area is known for wildfires, Harrington’s intention was to collect rainwater and use it to fight fires, while preserving precious drinking water. The state however, disagreed with him and decided to formally charge Harrington for collecting 13 million gallons of water; enough to fill 20 Olympic swimming pools.
Harrington fought the state and the charges but the jury sided with the prosecutors, claiming that the water rightfully belongs to the water commission. He was also asked to drain the reservoirs he had created but Harrington remains defiant, willing to take the issue to the Supreme Court if it comes to that. (source)
6. Roy Sullivan, a Virginia park ranger has been struck by lightning a total of seven times in his life and lived to tell the tales.
While seven is a lucky number for many, Roy Sullivan would disagree with that. Sullivan, a former Virginia park ranger, has had some issues with Mother Nature. His first encounter with a lightning bolt came in 1942 when Sullivan was on duty in a fire tower. The lightning struck him, but luckily he survived to tell the tale. In July of 1969, 27 years later, Sullivan was driving down a mountain road when lightning struck him through the open window. Strike three occurred the following year when Sullivan was simply standing in his yard. His fourth and fifth strikes also occurred on duty.
On June 5, 1976, Sullivan tried to outrun a storm but the lightning caught up with him, striking him for the sixth time. Finally, on June 25, 1977, while fishing, Sullivan was struck for the final time. Sullivan lived to the ripe age of 72 and the Guinness Book of World Records also credited him with a record for the person struck by lightning the most times. (source)
7. Violet Jessop was a nurse who worked aboard three sister ships: The Titanic, Britannic, and Olympic.
Violet was born on October 2, 1887 in Argentina. In 1908, at age 21, she started working as a stewardess for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. In 1910, she became an employee of White Star Line and started working on the Olympic. On September 20, 1911, the Olympic collided with HMS Hawke, a British warship. The Olympic’s hull was breached but somehow managed to reach port. Several months later, Violet joined the crew of the RMS Titanic. On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. However, Violet managed to climb aboard a lifeboat and save herself.
On November 21, 1916, Violet was aboard the Britannic, which was carrying 1,605 passengers on board when it hit a mine and sank. Once again, Violet managed to board a lifeboat and float to safety. Violet continued to work aboard cruise ships until she retired in 1950. (source)
8. In 2011, Debbie Stevens donated one of her kidneys to her ailing boss Jackie Brucia. Brucia returned the favor for saving her life by firing Debbie because sh took too long to recover from the surgery.
In 2011, when a Long Island mom named Debbie Stevens heard that her ailing boss was desperately in need of a kidney transplant, she decided to step in and save her life. Jackie Brucia was on the transplant list but the wait was too long. However, Debbie was not a perfect match. So, she decided to donate to the person on the top of the waiting list, thus adding Brucia to the top of the transplant group. The plan worked out and Brucia received a donor from San Francisco.
After the surgeries, while Debbie was recovering, Brucia called her and informed her to return to work, saying: “people are going to think you’re getting special treatment”. Brucia continued to push Debbie, and upon returning, she was transferred to a location that was 50 miles away from her home. When the ordeal was too much for Debbie, she consulted a psychiatrist who advised her to get in touch with a lawyer. When Debbie’s lawyer wrote a letter about the stress Brucia was causing, Debbie was fired from her job. (source)
9. Tomas Lopez, a Hallandale beach lifeguard, was fired for rescuing a man outside his designated zone.
In 2012, Tomas Lopez was working as as lifeguard at Hallandale Beach when he spotted someone who needed help. However, the struggling man was outside of his designated zone. Lopez could only think about saving his life and not his job, so, he rushed to the scene and rescued the man. Beachgoers cheered for Lopez and his bravery but he only saw it as his duty. His employers however, did not appreciate Lopez’s bravery, since he performed patrol outside of his zone, and they fired him. When local news channels picked up the story, the company offered Lopez his job back; an offer Lopez rejected. (source)
10. Melanie Martinez is known as the unluckiest woman in America, as she has lost a total of five homes to hurricanes and floods.
There are some people who avoid trouble at all costs but then there are people who, no matter what, cannot evade it. Melanie Martinez is one such person. The Louisiana native has lost four homes in the last 50+ years to Hurricanes Betsy (1965), Juan (1985), George (1998), and Katrina (2005). After hearing Martinez’s story, in 2012, A&E reality show Hideous Houses had selected her home for a $20,000 makeover. A few months after the makeover, hurricane Isaac happened and once again, she lost her home for the fifth time. Since then, Martinez has been planning on moving to a home on higher ground. (source)