Tuesday, 29. July 2014
13. 05. 14. - 16:00
A Croatian dubbed the luckiest man in the world after he survived seven potentially fatal accidents that killed dozens of other people and then won the lottery is suing an American company that made a short cartoon documentary about his life – because they gave him a moustache.
Frano Selak, 85, from the central Croatian town of Petrinja said he was furious when he realised that they had given him a moustache adding: "I never wear a moustache. They did it to make people laugh at me. And they never paid me anything for me to put up with the indignity. So I plan to sue them."
Over one million people have already watched the three minute cartoon about his remarkable life entitled "The Luckiest Unlucky Man" that was produced by American company This&That Visuals, and which was uploaded to YouTube on 1 May.
Frano cheated death seven times in a series of disasters that left scores of people dead and then won 600,000 GBP with his first ever lottery ticket.
His first lucky escape came in 1962 when a train he was travelling on from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik jumped the rails and plunged into an icy river.
Seventeen people drowned and he barely made it to the riverbank suffering from hypothermia, shock, bruises and a broken arm. A year later, he was thrown out of a DC-8 airplane between the Croatian cities Zagreb and Rijeka when a door flew open. This time 19 people died when the plane crashed, but Mr Selak landed in a haystack and escaped with cuts, bruises and shock.
In 1966, a bus he was travelling on in Split lurched into a river, killing four. He swam to safety again with cuts, bruises and even more shock.
Accident number four was in 1970 when his car caught fire as he drove along a motorway and he managed to get out with seconds to spare before the fuel tank exploded. His friends began to call him Lucky and he said: "You could look at it two ways. I was either the world's unluckiest man or the luckiest. I preferred to believe the latter."
Three years later, he lost most of his hair when a faulty fuel pump spewed petrol over the hot engine of his Wartburg car and blew flames through the air vents.
In 1995 came his sixth accident when he was knocked down by a bus in Zagreb but sustained only minor injuries - plus the inevitable shock. The following year, he was driving in the mountains when he turned a corner to see a UN truck coming straight for him.
His Skoda car crashed through the barrier and over the edge but Frane managed to jump out at the last minute and landed in a tree to see his car explode 300ft below him.
But then last year Selak won 600,000 GBP with his first ever lottery ticket.
He said at the time: "I am going to enjoy my life now - I feel like I have been reborn. I know God was watching over me all these years."
He has also had four failed marriages and, after his lottery win, commented: "I suppose my marriages were disasters too!" But he has not given up trying his luck - his fifth wife is 20 years younger than him.
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