The 18 Unluckiest People In History Who Had It Worse Than You

Coincidence or fate, no matter which one you believe in, can sometimes defy imagination and turn someone’s life into something that makes fictional stories look more realistic. A few of the accounts we’ve listed below about some of the unluckiest people in history are sad, while others are funny and absurd. But either way, they are bound to make you think you have it much better than they ever did.

1. Adolphe Sax, the inventor of saxophone, had a three-story fall hitting his head on a stone, drank a bowl of vitriolized water, was burnt in gunpowder explosion, fell onto a hot cast iron frying pan, was poisoned and suffocated by the varnish in own bedroom, was hit on the head by cobblestone, and almost drowned in a river.

Image Source: independent

Adolphe Sax’s parents were musical instrument designers, something he learned and started working on at an early age. He had great success in inventing and designing instruments and he is the inventor of the saxophone. However, his childhood was filled with many near-death experiences, earning him the nickname “little Sax, the ghost” among his neighbors. He was also driven to bankruptcy twice, suffered from lip cancer and recovered from it, and died in complete poverty despite his success.(source)

2. A man named Walter Summerford was struck by lightning 3 times in his life. Four years after his death, his gravestone was struck by lightning as well.

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Walter Summerford was a sportsman, a fact that increased his chances of being hit by lightning, which apparently happened 3 times in his lifetime. His record was beaten by another man, Roy Sullivan, who was struck by lightning 7 times during his lifetime. However, what makes Summerford special, is that in 1916, four years after his death, his gravestone was struck as well, making it a fourth time.(source)

3. One of the co-founders of Apple, Ronald Wayne, sold his 10 percent stakes for $800 and left because he found it hard to work with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Had he stayed on, he would be worth $35 billion now.

Image Source: cnn

When he was 42, Ronald Wayne co-founded Apple along with Steven Jobs and Steven Wozniak and even drew the first Apple logo. But, Wayne felt that he couldn’t cope with Jobs’ dark side. He felt that Jobs was manipulative, stubborn about his decisions, and very bent getting where he wants to. However, he said that he doesn’t regret his decision and that it allowed him to pursue his interests.(source)

4. A woman named Jeanne Rogers slipped off a ship’s deck into the water and when a friend ran to help she slipped as well knocking herself unconscious. She was also struck by lightning twice, almost got strangled to death by her husband, mugged, had a bat stuck in her hair with the neighbors only screaming instead of helping, and accidentally pulled down the pants of Fred Rogers of the children’s show, Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

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In 1967, Jeanne Rogers was on a cruise with her friend trying to take pictures by the rails on a rainy day when the unfortunate drowning incident happened. Again in 1971, when she was struck by lightning, her shoes were blown off, a small hole was burned in her ankle, her pantyhose melted on her legs and the nerve damage was so severe that she found herself unable to wear shoes. Two years later, she was struck by another bolt of lightning because of a metal bracelet she was wearing. In 1981, her husband came home drunk and tried to strangle her to death. Later, while she was swimming at the Hartford, Connecticut, she heard an announcement for “Rogers”. Then, while leaving the swimming pool to go to the front desk, she inadvertently pulled down the pants of Fred Rogers who was also there.(source)

5. In 2001, a couple from England, Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence, went on a holiday to New York when the World Trade Center was attacked. Later on July 7, 2005, they went on another holiday to London when four British suicide bombers attacked the underground and the bus network. Again in 2008, they were in Mumbai when the city was attacked by terrorists on the night of November 26.

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The couple became famous, or infamous, for the bizarre way their vacations coincided with terrorist attacks when a reporter from DNA newspaper first reported his conversation. Their recent vacation was in Mumbai and they were staying Colaba area when the attacks that killed nearly 180 people happened. The death toll for 9/11 was over 3,000 people, while the London attacks had 52 deaths and 700 people were injured.(source)

6. On December 22, 2011, a man named Costis Mitsotakis became the only person not to win the lottery in a town of 250 people who won at least £83,000 for each ticket, with a total of £600 million because he forgot to buy a £4-ticket.

Image Source: en.sae

The Greek filmmaker, Costis Mitsotakis, became the only man in the small Spanish town Sodeto not to win the Christmas mega draw called El Gordo or the Big/Fat One. There were 1,800 winning tickets that year with each ticket costing £16 but subdivided into four participations costing £4 each. The residents of the town bought a ticket bearing the first prize winning number 58,268. Of the total £600 million, the town won £100 million, with some people winning £83,000 after buying a single share, while some others who bought more than one won millions.(source)


7. A Thai woman accidentally slipped in farmyard mud, grabbed a live wire and got killed. Later when her sister was showing the neighbors how it happened, she slipped, grabbed the live wire and was killed.

Image Source: shropshirestarwikimedia

Yooket Paen, 57, from Angthong, a rural area 60 miles from the city of Bangkok, after slipping in mud attempted to save herself from a fall by grabbing a live wire which electrocuted and killed her. Later on the same day, her sister Yooket Pan, 52, died in exactly the same manner while showing a neighbor how her sister died.(source)

8. During WWII, Canadian soldier George Lawrence Price was shot by a German sniper and died only 2 minutes before the armistice ceasefire that came into effect and ended the war.

Image Source: alchetron

On November 11, 1918, the 28th Battalion was securing all the bridges on Canal du Centre between Frameries and the village of Havre in Belgium starting at 4.00 AM. By 9.00 AM, the battalion received a message stating that all hostilities would cease by 11.00 AM. However, Price and another soldier thought that their position on the open canal bank was too exposed to the houses on the opposite bank that had bricks knocked out to create firing positions. Therefore, they made a five men patrol to search the houses and then they discovered that there were German soldiers hiding with machine guns. The Canadians followed the Germans who began to retreat when they found out that they were outflanked when one of the snipers shot Price, fatally wounding him. He died at 10.58 AM, two minutes before the armistice ceasefire.(source)

9. In 1938, a Korean soldier Yang Kyoungjong was conscripted into Japanese Armyand sent to fight against the Soviet Union. In 1942, after being captured by the Soviet Red Army, he was again sent to fight the Nazi Germany as part of Red Army. In 1943, he was captured by the Nazis, sent to fight in Normandy and finally was captured by the US Army.

Image Source: alchetron

During the time when Korea was ruled by Japan, Kyoungjong was a Korean soldier sent to fight against the Soviet Union as part of Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army. When he was captured by the Red Army, he was sent to a labor camp. But because of the manpower shortages faced by the Soviets when they were fighting against the Nazi Germany, thousands of prisoners, among whom was Kyoungjong, were forced to fight in the Red Army.

The same happened again when he was captured by Wehrmacht soldiers and he was sent to Occupied France to join a battalion of Soviet prisoners of war called Eastern Battalion in Normandy. After the D-Day, he was captured by the paratroopers of United States Army, sent to prison camp in Britain, and then transferred to another camp in the United States where he settled after being released when the war ended.(source)

10. A man named Aitabdel Salem spent five months in prison unaware that his bail only cost $2.

Image Source: nydailynews

Aitabdel Salem was initially jailed on $25,000 bail for allegedly attacking a police officer who arrested him for shoplifting at a store. The judge also ordered a $1 bail for two other minor charges of tampering and mischief. Salem should have been able to leave when the prosecutors failed to get an indictment on the assault charge. However, according to Salem, his first lawyer did not explain the change in his bail status, which led him to spend five months in prison.(source)

11. In 2001, a woman kept her $1.3 million lottery winnings a secret from her estranged husband to avoid giving half of it in the divorce settlement, which he found out about a year and a half later. For violating Family Code statute by falsifying data about the property, the judge ordered 100 percent of the winnings go to the husband.

Image Source: alexnoudelman

Thomas Rossi, the husband of Denise Rossi, found out about the money when a letter was sent to his address in her name, asking if she was interested in a lump-sum buyout of her lottery winnings. It was also revealed that she filed for divorce in less than a month after winning. She consulted with the state lottery commission regarding how she could keep her husband away from the prize. She also used her mother’s address for annual checks and other correspondence from the lottery officials. When it was found out, she claimed that she pulled out before her group of colleagues won $6.68 million and that she was only given a separate property gift.(source)

12. In 1954, a woman named Ann Hodges became the only known person to have been hit by a meteorite. She was napping on her couch in her home when the rock broke through the ceiling, bounced off the radio and hit her hip.

On a clear afternoon in late November 1954, a meteorite at the size of a softball broke through the ceiling giving Ann Hodges a pineapple-shaped bruise on her hip. According to Michael Reynolds, a Florida State College astronomer, such incident is extremely rare as most meteors usually fall into the ocean or strike remote places on Earth and there is a better chance of being hit by a tornado, a bolt of lightning and a hurricane at the same time than being hit by a meteorite.(source)

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