Everyone wants to be rich. Unlimited cash, luxuries are the perks being super-rich holds. Hard work is esteemed to be the key to reach this status but luck plays the game here. Here are a few people who became filthy rich by luck or say, accident.
Josh Abramson and Rick Van Veen
In 1999, Josh Abramson and Rick Van Veen, two high school classmates attending different universities, thought they had found a way to keep in touch.
They launched collegehumor.com as a way to share amusing freshman stories, jokes, and funny pictures and videos. The site was originally meant for just the two of them, but it soon started gaining attention from their friends, and then their friend’s friends, and in just six years, the site had over eight million registered users. Today, it is a leading source for original comedic content on the internet and the duo has made millions of dollars in advertising revenue and income from related projects.
Sometimes all you have to do to become a millionaire is have the right name. That was the case for a Cincinnati man in August 2013. Earlier that summer, Caesar’s Entertainment announced that it was giving away several $1 million prizes in the months of July, August, and September. One of those prizes was to be awarded at the Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati. On August 10, 2013, they held the drawing and pulled out the name Kevin Lewis.
Kevin Lewis just happened to be in attendance when they announced his name, so he came forward and accepted the large novelty check for $1 million. Everything seemed fine until casino officials started the verification process and soon realized that the actual winner was a different Kevin Lewis from Cincinnati. The man who had accepted the prize was not actually the winner.
Most people would assume that the casino would withdraw the cash prize they awarded to the wrong Kevin Lewis, but shockingly, the casino admitted that they made a mistake and awarded separate $1 million prizes to both men.
Panagides graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana with a business degree in the late 1990s and then flew down to Brazil to help his cousin start a small internet service provider. The business took off quickly, and as the business grew, they were forced to leave their beachfront office and move to downtown Sao Paulo. Panagides, however, didn’t see much of the profits, and soon was tired of the tech industry.
He began looking for other opportunities closer to the beach with dreams of setting up a seaside export company. He visited local factories in hopes of finding a product that he could market outside of Brazil. His hopes materialized in the form of a bikini. A fellow Greek expat had been making bikinis in Brazil that were compact, lightweight, and perfect for export. Panagides bought ten of the bikinis and posted them on Ebay. Seven of the bikinis were sold by the next morning. Brazilian-bikinis.net is now the largest independent distributor of bikinis in the world, and Panagides is a millionaire, lying on the beach, and admiring his bikini models.
Morrah, a 61-year-old truck driver living in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania had worked for the same supermarket for 31 years and was only 220 days from retirement when he became an accidental millionaire.
His wife, Debbie, realized that she had forgotten to buy her husband a gift for Father’s Day, so she sent their daughter to the store to buy a card. At the last minute, she gave her a 20 dollar bill and told her to buy a scratch off lottery ticket to place in the card because she felt guilty about not getting him a gift. That ticket turned out to be worth $1 million dollars, and it’s safe to say that Mr. Morrah retired 220 days earlier than he intended.
Richard and Betty James
Richard James was a navy tool worker with a family. One day, he noticed a spring coil fall off a work bench at the shop and bounce off the floor. He thought that the coil could make a good toy for his children, so he brought it home. It was such a hit with his kids that he and his wife decided to market it.
They made 400 Slinkys (a name his wife coined from a Swedish word meaning sleek and sinuous) by Christmas 1945 and put them on display at the local Gimbel’s department store. The new toys sold out almost immediately and before long, the Slinky business was thriving. The couple became millionaires in a relatively short period of time.