Saturday, July 21

10 Lucky Discoveries That Made People Rich

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According to Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire, people can create their own luck by just following these four simple principles:

  1. Make contacts, be relaxed, and be open to new opportunities.
  2. Listen to your intuition and gut feeling.
  3. Expect good fortune.
  4. Turn bad luck around by using different psychological techniques.

We at 5 Fun Facts have collected some lucky discoveries made by people who, intentionally or not, have followed these principles in their lives and become super rich.

1. “Royal One”

One lucky miner from Australia was collecting ordinary stones and found a big sparkling one at the bottom of his bucket. It looked nice so he took it home as a souvenir. 14 years later, he showed it to a specialist and found out that it was a very rare black opal worth more than $3 million. It was given the name “Royal One.”

2. Wale vomit

Charlie Naysmith, an 8-year-old-boy from the UK, found an unusual rock on the beach. After googling it with his father they found out it was a piece of ambergris, or whale vomit, worth $63,000. Ambergris is a very valuable ingredient in perfume production.

3. Wall of coins

While playing in an abandoned house in Pennsylvania, some local kids found several old coins near one of the walls. When their parents found out, they broke the wall and hundreds of coins fell out of it. There were $8,500 worth of ordinary coins and some rare coins valued at $200,000.

4. Golden nuggets

A local farmer from Australia was searching for something with a metal detector on the land around his home when he accidently detected and dug out some little nuggets of gold. He continued digging and found a 5.5 kg piece of gold that was worth $315,000.

5. Super glue

Super glue was accidently discovered when Harry Coover, an American chemist, and his team were trying to develop materials to make plastic gun sights. It became a very popular commercial product in 1985 and generated around to $2.5 billion.

6. “Hoxne Hoard”

Peter Whatling, a British farmer, asked his friend Eric Lawes to help him, using his home-made metal detector, to find his lost hammer. But instead of the hammer they found a wooden box with jewelry and coins worth about $15 million. Archeologists named this treasure the “Hoxne Hoard” and it was brought to the British Museum for display. Eric got a prize of $2.3 million, which he shared with Peter.

7. Penicillin

It was discovered by chance in 1928 by Scottish biologist Alexander Fleming. He came back home after a vacation and found a dirty dish full of bacteria and mold that he had forgotten to clean. It was then when he noticed that the mold actually killed the bacteria. Thanks to him forgetting to do his dishes, we have antibiotics today.

8. Microwave

An engineer named Percy Spencer was experimenting with an enemy-plane detector when he accidently discovered that magnetron can melt chocolate. This accidental product brought Raytheon (the industrial corporation where Spencer worked) about $25 billion.

9. Popsicles

Back in 1905 a teenager named Frank Epperson left a mixture of soda powder and water in a glass out in the cold with a stirring stick in it. 20 years later “ice lollipops” became really popular and Epperson became extremely rich.

10. Coca-Cola

One of the world’s most popular drinks was created by John Pemberton as a medicine against headaches. But his assistant accidently mixed its two main ingredients (coca leaves and cola nuts) with carbonated water. Which proves once again: you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment, if you want to get lucky.

Bonus: If you’ve ever walk the beaches of Chile or Peru and notice something like this:

Pick it up and consider yourself very lucky. This is Pyura Chilensis. This little orange alien looking creature is pretty expensive and a delicacy in Chilean restaurants. It’s also really tasty and they export it to Sweden and Japan. But you’ll only find it on the coasts of Chile or Peru.

Have you made any lucky discoveries in your life? Or maybe you know someone who became extremely rich just by a lucky coincidence? Share it with us in the comments.

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