Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Is being struck by lightning lucky?

August 11, 2014

Sky Umbrella | UncommonGoods

It certainly does beat the odds. It’s estimated that only one out of 10,000 people will be struck by lightning in their lifetime—although this is still more likely than winning millions in the lottery, which has odds in the neighborhood of 1 in 259 million. But one man named Roy Sullivan laid claim to the unluckiest luck in the world by being struck by lightning seven times. This was partly due to the fact that he worked a ranger in Shenandoah National Park and was exposed to a lot more storms than average. But it got to the point where Sullivan began to claim that clouds were actually following him. He started carrying a bucket of water with him whenever there was a storm, which came in handy several times because the lightning had a tendency to set his hair on fire. The chances of an ordinary person being struck by lightning seven times are somewhere around 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Lucky guy! (And he almost got even luckier: once he was helping his wife hang laundry out to dry, and she was struck by lightning instead of him!)

Sky Umbrella, $48

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