The thing about good fortune is its relative nature. You might have encountered people over the years who seemed like things just always worked out for them – maybe their birthdays fell on a weekend, or they unknowingly stocked up on alcohol before lockdown – there are always levels to the kind of luck you have, even if it’s positive. The guy we’re talking about has maxed out his levels.

90-year-old Frane Selak has escaped death 7 times and also won the lottery. Lady Luck didn’t just bless him, she straight up adopted him, which is why he’s been dubbed ‘the luckiest man in the world’. 

The nonagenarian was born in 1929 in Croatia, has lived through some of the most historic events of the century, and has cheated death more times than you can count.

All Thats interesting

It all started in 1962, when Frane was on a train going through a cold and rainy canyon. The locomotive flipped off the tracks and crashed in a river. Selak suffered a broken arm and hypothermia, but survived.

Lucky for him, someone pulled him out of the wreckage. However, 17 others drowned in the accident.


The next year, he was on a plane that crashed and killed 19 people. However, he was sucked out of the plane door and landed on a haystack, living to tell the tale.

This also happened to be his first plane ride. He never got on one after this incident, and understandably so.

Motion Array

In 1966, he was on a bus that skidded off the road and fell into a river, resulting in the drowning of 4 people. Selak managed to swim to shore however, yet again defying the reaper.

He only suffered a few cuts and bruises in the entire ordeal.

Aspen Times

In 1970, the car he was driving caught fire, but he managed to get out of the moving vehicle. The fuel tank exploded seconds later.


In 1972, the engine of his car malfunctioned, causing fire to shoot out of the air vents. While his hair was totally fried off, Selak survived this near-fatal accident as well.


In 1995, he was hit by a bus on the streets of Zagreb, but only suffered minor injuries. 


In 1996, he was driving along a mountain curve when he narrowly avoided a UN truck. However, he crashed into the guardrail and his car fell off the mountain 300 feet down. He managed to hang onto a tree and survive.

Seriously, this is like the guy from Unbreakable. In this instance, he was thrown out of the window as he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when the car hit the rail, and thereby managed to grab a tree as he watched his car plummet.  But it’s not just all near-death experiences that have earned him his title. 

The Vail Voice

After cheating death 7 times, he even won the lottery in 2003. The amount? A whopping $1,110,000! This happened just 2 days after his 73rd birthday.

Selak bought 2 houses and a boat with his winnings. I guess he deserved it, considering how many times he managed to give death the ol’ dip and slip. This man clearly had a lifetime supply of Felix Felicis.  


In 2010, Mr. Luck decided to give up the riches he had won, handing it away to relatives and friends and going about a frugal lifestyle. And that’s how he’s been living since! What a story!