Who Is The Unluckiest Person in the World? The Unlucky 17

Who Is The Unluckiest Person in the World?

Do you think you’re having a bad day? You may think being unlucky equates to a series of unfortunate events; however, the stories of these individuals will help you realize that misfortune can take on extraordinary forms. Let’s learn more about the top 17 unfortunate people in the world.

Top 17 Most Unlucky Persons in the World

The following table will share a list of the unluckiest individuals in the world, ranked from the most unfortunate, along with the reasons they’re popularly known for.

Rank The unfortunate people in the world Known for
#1 Bruno Venturi Winning £650,000 jackpot
#2 Bob The man whose savings were lost in a single night
#3 Michael Carroll Squandered 9 million euros
#4 Cynthia Jay Brennan Had an accident after winning $35 million
#5 James Howells Lost 7,500 Bitcoin in a hard drive
#6 Costis Mitsotakis He missed a share of $950 million
#7 Frane Selak Survived many accidents and won the lottery
#8 Roy Sullivan Survived being struck by lightning seven times
#9 Henry Ziegland He escaped death by a bullet only to be killed by it years later
#10 Ann Hodges Struck by a meteorite
#11 Melanie Martinez Lost five homes to hurricanes
#12 Violet Jessop Survived multiple ship disaster
#13 John Lyne Several near-death experiences
#14 Ron Wayne Apple founder who missed billions
#15 Erik Norrie Different unconventional attacks
#16 John Wade Agan Encountered many unfortunate events
#17 Tsutomu Yamaguchi Survived atomic bombings

#1. Bruno Venturi

The story of Bruno is one of the most intriguing yet shocking. It all started when he played an online casino game and won £650,000 from just a stake of £17. This is, of course, a life-changing award, but the sad news is that he never enjoyed winning. What happened is that the platform he was using refused to pay out, citing that there was a system glitch that led to his favour. Bruno went ahead to sue the casino, but unfortunately, the court’s ruling favoured the online casino, meaning he lost his entire fortune.

Since then, Bruno made a board decision not to gamble again. When interviewed by reality TV, he said, ‘’Every time I remember the amount I won, I feel I don’t need to try my luck anymore.’’. After the casino analyzed his game, it concluded that, were it not for the system glitch, Bruno would have lost £60,000.

#2. Bob

Bob, unfortunately, found himself in a series of unfortunate events that seemed more like bad luck. His story began when he invested his entire life savings into a business that undeniably showed him promising returns. However, just as he was very close to launching his business, something unexpected happened. A freak storm destroyed his premises, setting him back financially and his plans. As if that wasn’t enough, his car was damaged beyond repair. To make matters even worse, he struggled so much to resolve his relationship issues with his wife, and despite his efforts, they ended up partying ways.

Stressed, Bob turned to a friend for comfort, only to find that his friend was involved in a scam that led to legal issues. Basically, Bob’s series of bad luck was unending, and he always found himself struggling to take a break.

#3. Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll

At only 19 years old, Michael Carroll won £9.7 million ($15 million) in 2002, which dramatically changed his life. However, Michael didn’t manage the money well due to a lack of financial management skills. First, he squandered the money with parties, prostitutes, mansions, expensive cars, and luxurious vacations. He became a local celebrity known for his extravagant lifestyle.

However, due to a lack of financial management skills, Michael started to become broke and sold properties to maintain his lifestyle. He tried alcohol and other drugs as a means of handling the pressures of his fame. His reckless behaviour led to legal troubles, where he found himself in and out of jail. In a very short time, the story goes on to explain that he went broke and currently lives with his unemployed mother.

#4. Cynthia Jay Brennan

The story of Cynthia is devastating and touches both the good and bad hands of lady luck. In 2001, she played the Las Vegas slot machine and won a $35 million prize. After this exciting news, she got married to her boyfriend, who had big dreams of traveling the world. Unfortunately, weeks later, she was involved in an accident.

A drunken driver with 16 arrest cases slammed into her car, and the collision killed Lela Jay, her sister, and shattered her spine. In an interview, she said, ‘’It feels great winning such a big prize. It’s also awesome that I survived this accident. I’m hoping to get better and walk again’’. She also added a hurtful message that she would give every cent back if she were able to walk again and return back to her regular job.

#5. James Howells

James Howells

If you think trying to find a needle that has landed in a haystack is challenging, then here is a similar story. James Howells, an IT expert, had been trying to locate a hard drive that he mistakenly threw away. The reason he wanted it so badly is that it had 7,500 Bitcoins on it. As years went by, Bitcoin gained value, making him realize the worth of his lost treasure.

Each Bitcoin was now worth a significant amount, making him even more determined to find it. In January 2022, Hewells was in the news where he was pleading with the Newport council, which fell on deaf ears. They refused his demands for an excavation project to take place. The saddest part is that he may never recover his buried treasure.

#6. Costis Mitsotakis

The Greek filmmaker Costis is another sad soul who is often regarded as an unfortunate man. It may read like a headline from ‘’The Onion,’’ but, unfortunately, for Costis, it’s all too true. Usually, every Christmas in Spain, there is a lottery draw called El Gordo, which means ‘’the fat one’’. The very small Spanish village of Sodeto had some reasons for celebrations after 70 households, except one bought a ticket through the homemaker’s association. Fortunately, their lucky number, 58,268, won, giving them up to $950 million.

People flooded the streets in celebration, waking up Costis, who hadn’t bought a lottery ticket. As the villagers were celebrating around him, he couldn’t help but feel the heavy weight of his mishap. The irony of this situation wasn’t lost on him, and therefore, he became the centre of media attention, which gave him the unfortunate title of the ‘’unluckiest man in the world’’.

#7. Frane Selak

Frane Selak was a Croatian music teacher who experienced several strings of death. This series of events left so many people wondering whether he was the world’s luckiest or unfortunate person alive. His sad stories date back to the 1960s when he boarded a train that killed 17 passengers, and surprisingly, Frane survived with only minor injuries. In the following years, he was sucked out of a plane door.

On another occasion in Croatia, a bus he was travelling in plunged into a river, claiming the lives of many passengers, but he was lucky to escape before it sank. He was also hit by a bus on a mountain road and narrowly escaped a 300 ft drop. These incidents, including surviving a plane crash, made people question if his luck had a darker side. In 2003, Selak’s life took another unexpected turn when he won a lottery jackpot that made him a millionaire.

#8. Roy Sullivan

Perhaps one of the most shocking stories of mishap on this list is the one for Roy, a man who was hit seven times by lightning. Regarded as the ‘’human lightning rod,’’ Roy has a record for surviving the most lightning flashes, according to the Guinness World Record. Roy’s story began in 1942 when he was struck by lightning for the first time. By then, he was working as a park ranger in Shenandoah National Park.

Luckily, he survived the strike, which left him with minor injuries, and his hair caught fire. Over the following decades, Roy’s life became connected with lightning in a way that appeared almost unreal. Between 1942 and 1977, he was struck six times, with each strike leaving him with a mark that resulted in various injuries. He managed burns, temporary blindness, and singe hair.

#9. Henry Ziegland

For 20 years of his life, Henry believed that he was the luckiest man in the world. His story began in 1893 when he confessed to his girlfriend, Maysie Tichnor, that he was unfaithful to her. This caused Maysie to commit suicide. Her brother, Henry, believed Ziegland killed her and wanted to take revenge by shooting Ziegland. Upon thinking that he had killed him, he then shot himself.

Thankfully, Ziegland was only grazed by the bullet, which lodged in a tree. 20 years later, in 1924, when Ziegland was out with his son, felling trees, he came across the bullet that would have killed him. Rather than removing it, he went ahead and blew it up with dynamite. After lighting the fuse, he stepped 50 yards away and watched. The dynamite exploded, firing and directing the bullet into Ziegland’s head, instantly killing him.

#10. Ann Hodges

Ann Hodges

Ann met a meteorite mishap on November 30, 1954. On that fateful day, Ann was busy napping on the couch in her living room in Sylacauga, Alabama, when a meteorite crashed through the roof of her house and struck her, not for an incident with a guardrail. This had never been witnessed before. The meteorite left a 3-foot wide hole in the roof and hit her on the upper thigh and hand. At first, her mother thought it was the chimney that had collapsed, but after noticing a large rock, the fire department and police.

This event attracted the attention of several media outlets, putting Ann in the spotlight. People from all over the world wanted to know about her experience with the meteorite, and they received lots of money for its sale. However, they declined to sell it and decided to give it to the Alabama Museum of Natural History, where it remains to date. Despite the remarkable nature of her experience, Ann considered herself unhappy due to the stress and challenges that emanated in the aftermath.

#11. Melanie Martinez

Considered the unfortunate woman in the United States, Melanie Martinez appears to be cursed regarding houses and hurricanes. In 2012, Martinez, her fiancee, and her mother got trapped when a storm from a hurricane flooded her home south of New Orleans. They maneuvered their way through the roof, where they were rescued.

In total, Melanie has lost five homes in five hurricanes, but her mistake was always rebuilding in the same Louisiana floodplain. As if losing a house wasn’t enough mishap, her house was selected in 2012 for a $20,000 giveaway makeover by the A&E reality show ‘’Hideous Houses’’, which was to install new appliances, a kitchen, and a sewing room. However, it was impossible due to the arrival of Hurricane Isaac.

#12. Violet Jessop

Violet Jessop

Violet Jessop was an Irish-Argentine nurse and ocean linear stewardess who was unhappy for wanting to go down with a sinking ocean liner three times. Initially, sea captains believed it was bad luck to have a woman on board. Women were said to make the sea angry. On the other hand, superstition argued that if women were naked, it would help calm down the sea wave, which maybe it’s what Violet would have employed to save lives.

Jessop’s story, therefore, begins when she boarded both the RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic ships used by the British army that sank in the early 1900s. In addition, she was on board the RMS Olympic when it suffered an at-sea collision. In all of these incidents, unscathed, Violet swam to shore with a swimsuit.

#13. John Lyne

If you think life is challenging, spare a few minutes and read John’s life story. He has survived a lightning bolt struck twice. John also survived three car crashes, nearly drowned, and suffered a broken bone, broken arm, and hypothermia. All these mishaps qualify John to be among the UK’s unfortunate people. Despite this, John believes he is the luckiest human, citing that ‘’After all the problems I’ve experienced so far, I believe that were it not luck, I could have had more severe cuts and bruises or even death. So I count everything as a blessing that I’m still alive.’’

#14. Ron Wayne

Ron Wayne was the third co-founder of Apple Computers. In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were in their 20s and had no real business experience. Their idea of bringing in Ron Wayne was to offer them adult supervision and assist with engineering documentation. Wayne was the one who drafted the first Apple construct, showing every man’s role in the company.

Their cut of shares included Wozniak (45%), Jobs (45%), and Wayne (10%). He even developed the first app logo, but in just 12 days, he decided to call it quits. His reason for quitting was that he didn’t fit in with the strong boy’s geniuses and was worried the company would need his finances in case of bankruptcy. So he sold his shares for a total of $2,300 – $800 and the remaining $1,500 later. Years later, if he had held for at least 40 years, he would be close to $100 billion.

#15. Erik Norrie

This man is a misfortune magnet – or lucky if you consider how many times he has survived. Erik Norrie has had countless snake bites, monkey and snake attacks, and a bolt of lightning strike that left him with minor injuries. Erik lost a part of his leg to the shark, but fortunately, his father-in-law saved him. While he was lucky to survive, he is considered an unhappy person because the chances of a shark attack happening are actually very low.

#16. John Wade Agan

John Wade Agan’s story is one of a kind that reads like a movie script. Wade Agan experienced robbery at gunpoint, several snake bites, a lightning flash, and a stabbing. The former bus driver made the news in 2011 for being hospitalized again due to a lightning strike. This time, he was struck while using a landline telephone in his Florida home. In 2008, he was stabbed in the chest using a butcher’s knife. He also claimed to have been bitten by two snakes in 2009 at the same time he was attacked with the knife.

#17. Tsutomu Yamaguchi

Tsutomu Yamaguchi

At 29 years old, Tsutomu narrowly escaped death two times in three days in the atomic bomb explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. This left him suffering minor injuries and a bruise in both instances. His survival made him popular, and the media referred to him as the double atomic bomb survivor. Following the war, Tsutomu dedicated his life to sharing his experience and advocating for nuclear demobilization.

Conclusion: What Can UK Gamblers Learn From These Stories?

The stories of these people show the unpredictable nature of life and how luck can take an unexpected turn. For UK gamblers, these stories should remind you that while taking risks and accepting uncertainty is part of gambling, it’s worth approaching it with caution and awareness. You can do this through responsible gambling, which involves managing finances effectively, setting realistic expectations, and knowing when to walk away.

Note that luck is a variable concept, and while some may attribute their success or failure to it, it’s important to understand that skill, hard work, and informed decisions also play a role. Therefore, reflecting on what you’ve learned from the experience of these unfortunate individuals can give you valuable insight into managing risks, staying positive, and making the right decisions.