10 10 unlikely events that actually happened

Seemingly impossible events happen around the world each day, impressing us with awesome tales of fate and fortune.

While some are supported by first-hand reports and shaky phone footage, others are just too far-fetched to be true... or so you'd think.

Here's our list of the 10 most unlikely events that actually happened (we checked), despite the odds being stacked against them into the millions, billions and even trillions!

There's a good chance you'll be amazed.

Miss Unsinkable sails again

The woman who survived two sinkings and a crash (including the Titanic!)

If you'd count yourself lucky to survive one boat disaster, spare a thought for stewardess Violet Jessop.

In June 1911, Jessop was on board the RMS Olympic when it collided with cruiser, HMS Hawke, in the English channel and limped back to Southampton.

Repair of the Olympic included borrowing the propeller shaft of sister ship, RMS Titanic, delaying its ill-fated maiden voyage and the most famous ocean tragedy of all time.

Violet boarded the Titanic just four days before it crashed into an iceberg in April 1912, killing 1,514 of the 2,224 people on board.
She survived.

But the double disasters didn't put an end to her time at sea. Violet continued to work on the HMHS Britannic - until it hit a sea mine and sank in November 1916.

As Violet jumped into the water, she hit her head on the keel of the stricken ship before being pulled into a lifeboat, crediting her survival to her thick auburn hair and earning her the title of 'Miss Unsinkable'.

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1 in 136,823,184

The house always wins

Monte Carlo roulette wheel takes millions from Gamblers!

The Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco has been one of the most famous gambling destinations in the world for over 150 years.

In August 1913, visitors to the casino noticed a strange pattern on one of the roulette tables - the ball kept landing on black. Again and again and again. Adamant that the wheel would deliver a red number next, people continued to bet red.

A European roulette wheel has an equal number of red and black pockets, plus a single green zero. The chance of the ball landing on black in a single spin is 18/37.

In Monte Carlo that night, the ball landed on black a total of 26 times in a row - the longest streak of a single colour ever recorded with odds of 136,823,184 to 1.

Gamblers lost millions in a classic case of the gambler's fallacy - the false belief that past behaviour influences future behaviour. The roulette wheel had to correct the imbalance eventually, didn't it?

It didn't, and the casino had a very good night.
1 in 136,823,184

Drinks are on him!

Amateur golfer hits three holes-in-one in one round

Even professional golfers struggle to combine the immense amount of skill and luck needed to achieve an elusive hole-in-one.

Yet in 2015, an amateur golfer managed to shoot THREE in a single round while playing in a tournament at Laurel Hill Golf Club, Virginia. Patrick Wills hit an ace on holes 7, 10 and 14 to go 14 under par and claim overall victory.

The chance of a golfer of Patrick's ability getting a hole-in-one has been calculated at 5,000/1, putting his odds of getting three in a single round at over one in one trillion.

When asked about his round, Patrick said: "It is one of those surreal experiences - everything was moving in slow motion and I was trying to take it all in."

We hate to think how much the clubhouse drinks cost!

1 in 1,000,000,000,000
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Flushed Away

Two of the rarest poker hands appear in one game

In Texas Hold'em poker, a hand of four aces is only bettered by either a straight flush (any five consecutive cards of the same suit) or the the ultra-rare royal flush (A-K-Q-J-10 of the same suit).
Holding quad aces should make winning a formality - unless you're Motoyuki Mabuchi.

Mabuchi went all-in with four aces in the main event game of the 2008 World Series of Poker, but lost to a royal flush held by Justin Phillips.

Even worse for Mabuchi, the final diamond ace that handed Phillips victory came as the river (the last card drawn). It was one of very few cards that could have beaten him at the time.

According to commentator, Lon McEachern, the odds of this exact showdown occurring were one in 2.7 billion, however later calculations have since proven this to be closer to one in 165 million.

As actor Ray Romano (who had just sat down at the table) said, "How many times you gonna see that?"
1 in 165,000,000
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Up in the air

Balloon travels 140 miles to bring together two girls with exactly the same name

Have you ever released a balloon into the sky and wondered where it will end up? 10-year old Laura Buxton did just that.

While celebrating her grandparents' golden wedding anniversary in 2001, Laura tied a note to a balloon with instructions to 'Please write to Laura Buxton', and released it.

The balloon floated 140 miles from Stoke-on-Trent to Milton Lilbourne in Wiltshire, where it was found deflated in a hedge by a farmer. Spotting the name, the farmer delivered it to his neighbour's daughter - also called Laura Buxton.

By sheer coincidence, the balloon had been released by one girl, travelled 140 miles across the country and ended up in the hands of another girl with exactly the same name.

According to reports, the two girls later got in touch and continue to enjoy one of the UK's most unlikely friendships to this day.

"We have no idea why this happened, but it did, and out of it has come a wonderful friendship." said Laura's mother (the first one).

Four month rollover

Man wins the lottery twice with same numbers

We've all dreamed of winning the lottery, but have you ever dreamed of winning it twice?

In June 2002, Hampshire electrician, Mike McDermott, won £194,501 on the UK National Lottery after correctly choosing five numbers and the bonus ball. He was just shy of the jackpot.

Fast-forward four months to October and Mike was still playing. Then something incredible happened - he won again.

But he didn't just win. Mike matched the exact same five numbers and bonus ball that he had in June, having continued to play them out of habit. He picked up another £121,157, taking his total winnings to £315,658!

Mike put the money towards buying a house on the island of Kerkenah, just off the coast of Tunisia, which he moved into with his wife immediately after the second win.

According to mathematicians, the odds of Mike winning twice with the same numbers were over five trillion to one. So, did his two wins keep him from ever playing the lottery again? Of course not.

"People say that good things come in threes, so I will definitely be keeping my numbers, I now believe that anything is possible."

1 in 5,400,000,000,000

Better late then never

Entire choir escapes church explosion

On March 1, 1950, the West Side Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska, exploded in the middle of choir practice, injuring nobody.

Although the session had started, every single member of the 15-person choir was late, avoiding the explosion that demolished the church thanks to a sequence of extraordinary coincidences.

From car troubles to homework, everybody had different reasons for escaping disaster and church goers were quick to attribute the 'miracle' to divine intervention.

The fire service found the explosion to have been caused when a natural gas leak made contact with the church's furnace.

Based on the attendance records of the choir members, the odds of everybody being late on the same day were calculated as one million to one.

We can only imagine what they'd be for the church to explode as well!

It came from outer space

Woman hit by meteorite while sleeping

Ann Hodges was asleep on her couch when a meteorite ripped through the sky above eastern Alabama in November 1954.

Without warning, it crashed through the roof of her house, bounced off a console radio and hit her on the hip - who needs an alarm clock?

Ann remains the only person in history to have experienced a confirmed meteorite strike. Unbelievably, she suffered no major injuries (except a large bruise), and was hospitalised only as a precaution.

Her ordeal didn't end there though. A legal dispute over ownership of the meteorite broke out between Ann and her landlord. The case was later settled out of court in her favour.

"I feel like the meteorite is mine," said Ann. "I think God intended it for me. After all, it hit me!"

Nuclear Power

The man who survived two atomic bombs

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on a business trip in Hiroshima, Japan, when the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city in August 1945.

Despite being three kilometres from the blast zone, he was temporarily blinded and suffered horrific burns over the top half of his body. But he was alive.

The following morning, he braved the radiation to catch a train back home and to the site of the second atomic bomb, Nagasaki.

When the city was targeted two days later, Yamaguchi once again found himself within three kilometres of ground zero, somehow escaping further injury.

In March 2009, he was officially recognised by the Japanese government as the lone survivor of both atomic bombings.

Up until his death, aged 93, in 2010, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was a leading voice in the fight to abolish nuclear weapons worldwide.

"The reason that I hate the atomic bomb is because of what it does to the dignity of human beings." he said.

The human lightning rod

Man struck by lightning seven times!

Shenandoah National Park ranger, Roy Sullivan, holds the Guinness World Record for being struck by lightning more times than any other person.

In the time between 1942 and 1977, Roy was hit by lightning on SEVEN separate occasions and survived them all, gaining the nickname of the 'Human Lightning Rod'.

Roy soon started to believe that an otherworldly force was out to destroy him and developed a major fear of death. He might have had a point. On June 5, 1976, he was struck for the sixth time after trying to outrun a storm that he said was chasing him.

Roy committed suicide aged 71 over an unrequited love, but his legacy for lightning survival lives on.

According to statistics, the odds of being hit by lightning once in your lifetime are 10,000/1, making the odds of being hit seven times an unfathomable 1:1028 - that's one followed by 28 zeros!

1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
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