20 Incredible True Stories That Will Change How You Think About Luck
Think luck is just for the Irish? Enjoy these short, true stories that celebrate luck, coincidence, and the joy of being in the right place at the right time.
Found money at the grocery store
I was third in line at the checkout, and the lady at the cashier was purchasing basic items. Two cans of cat food, a can of tuna, a loaf of bread, a quart of milk, a package of cookies. Her money was in her hand as the cashier gave her the total. She was 86 cents short. She checked her purse to no avail. “I can put something back,” she said. The man ahead of me reached into his pocket, palmed a dollar, bent down as if to pick something up, and said, “I think you dropped this.”—Michael F. Heberger, East Rochester, New York
The cat and the fire
I was deploying overseas so I decided to leave my black cat with my mother. My mother had been feeling alone lately, and I hoped he would change that. After two years, I was ready to get him back. Before I could do that, I got a call from my mother. She said she had fallen asleep earlier and woke up to him on her chest, meowing and pushing her face. He had never done that before. She smelled something funny, jumped out of bed, and found the kitchen on fire. My mom is alive because of him. He’s hers now!—Helen Jones, Pflugerville, Texas
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A ride in a cop car
Some 60 years ago, I left Tokyo, Japan, to live in a small town in Oklahoma. One day, I took the bus to go shopping but ended up with quite an armful of packages. I thought it best to take a taxi home. Within a short time, it appeared my ride had pulled over. I gave the driver my address and off we went. The driver even helped me carry my packages into my apartment. "What do I owe you?" I asked in my then broken English. "Not a dime, Miss,” he replied with a big smile. “I'm a police officer."—Fumiko Cascio, San Diego, California
The cat that knew
When my son was two years old, our cat scratched him over his eye. I immediately brought him to the doctor, and during the examination the doctor said he felt a bump under the scratch. He advised that an X-ray be taken. The results showed a lump the size of a walnut and although not cancerous, if left alone, could cause problems. Of course, the doctor removed it. Thanks to the scratch, we don't want to think of what might have happened.—Jean DeLia, Lady Lake, Florida
Penny in the pocket
One day, on a walk, I noticed a penny on the ground. I didn’t bother to pick it up, and that made me wonder why. Because the sum was so insignificant? I wondered, “What would I do if I found $20? Just keep walking?” Sure enough, I turned the corner and there lay $20. Long story short, I found its owner and returned it with a smile. And then a few hours later, I won $25 on a scratcher. With my pockets a little deeper, I then wondered, “What would I do if I found $1,000,000?” I’ll let you know.—Charlotte Stevens, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania
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Help from Claire
While shopping, I noticed a credit card on the floor. I picked it up, went to the courtesy desk, and asked them to page the owner. I waited. No one came. They said that her cart was still there and she had gone out to her car to look for her card. When she came back, I approached her and asked if she lost something. She did, her credit card. I asked her name and established that it matched the card, which I then gave her. She said she had prayed to her mother, who had passed away recently, to help her find the card. We talked and I introduced myself. "My name is Claire," I said. She responded, "My mother's name was Claire."—Claire Salem, New City, New York
Sunglasses on the shore
It was a hot, July day when my family arrived at North Carolina’s coast for a beach day. Upon arrival, my father became aware that he misplaced his beloved sunglasses. Not much of a beach enthusiast, Dad remained quite dismayed that he would be unable to read all day due to the loss of his sunglasses. Dad became so desperate; he looked toward the sky and exclaimed, “God, if you care, please help me find some sunglasses!” A moment later a small, gleaming reflection washed ashore. Jumping to our feet, we ran toward the sea, and what else washed ashore but a pair of coral encrusted sunglasses.—Travis Rager, Wendell, North Carolina
On a crisp fall morning, my daughter Laura went to pose for her senior pictures with her brother Josh’s bright green snowboard. Josh had died in a motorcycle accident the summer before, and Laura, an avid snowboarder, wanted his board in the shot. The photographer knew the perfect backdrop—a vibrant graffiti wall in town. He peered through the lens, focused, and gasped. We all looked up and read the words spray-painted on the wall above Laura’s head: “Big Bro Is Watching.” What a beautiful reassurance that she has a guardian angel.—Lynn Elsner, Missoula, Montana
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The soldier's surprise
It is spring of 1943 during World War II. Standing among hundreds of new soldiers at Camp Grant, in Illinois, my father, Sam, just 18 years old, waits as a truck slowly drives by. A full field pack is randomly tossed to each soldier. “How strange,” my father thinks, as he sees his last name, Litrenti, marked on each item in his pack. “How did they know it was me when they tossed the pack?” He was impressed! Beating all odds, my father was tossed a field pack from World War I—his own father’s.—Gail Litrenti-Benedetto, Park Ridge, Illinois
A date with fate
In a kitschy bar in Cambridge, he asked to sit at my table, though later he would insist that I made the first move. I was intrigued by his tattoos. He thought I went to Harvard. All we had in common was that we’d both almost stayed home. Friends had dragged us out on a frigid February evening. We still never agree on anything, except that it’s a darn good thing we sucked it up that snowy night. Our wild blue-eyed son always stops us in our tracks, reminding us that fate is just as fragile as our memory.—Emily Page Hatch, Wilmington, North Carolina