The Human Lightning Rod

Against all odds, the remarkable Roy Sullivan was hit by lightning seven times in his life. Roy was a park ranger working in the Shenandoah National Park when he was first hit by lightning. He was standing in a tower in the middle of a storm when he realized he wasn’t in the safest of places. He decided to make a run for it. “I got just a few feet away from the tower, and then, blam!” he said.

Roy was lightning free for the next 27 years of his life until one day in 1969. He was driving down a mountain road when a bolt of lightning struck him through the window of his car. Roy passed out, and the truck crashed. The third time was just a year later when Roy was shot into the air after being hit while working in his garden. Amazingly, just a month later, his wife was also struck by lighting. Then in 1972, Roy was struck for the fourth time while working in a campground. This time, his hair was set on fire.

After four strikes, Roy was starting to get national attention and appeared on several TV shows. He was given the nickname the Human Lightning Rod. Just a year later, Roy was hit, once again lighting his hair on fire and once again sending him flying through the air. Roy claimed he had dreamt strike number four and number five before they happened, and when there was no follow-up dream, he decided that God was going to give him a break.

“God spared me for some good purpose….It’s between God and me, and nobody but us will ever know,” he mysteriously said.

Apparently, he was wrong. Roy was struck two more times in his life. The last time was while fishing in 1977. Roy claims that to add insult to injury, he had to fend off a bear trying to steal his fish after the lightning strike.

Lightning striking a person is pretty common and kills 24,000 people a year. But your chance of being struck twice are pretty slim. In English, we say ‘lightning never strikes twice’ to describe the unlikely chance of a bad thing happening more than once. Your chance of being struck by lightning twice are one in 9 million. What do you think your chances of being struck by lightning seven times are? If you guessed a number too high to count, you’re in the right ballpark. Your chances are 1 in one hundred decillion. That’s a one with 35 zeroes after it.


So what do you think? Was Roy the luckiest or the unluckiest man in the world?

The post The Human Lightning Rod appeared first on Deep English.

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