Our Readers Share Their Greatest Strokes of Good Fortune

These reader-submitted stories are true tales of good fortune

Have you ever found a four-leaf clover hiding in a field of grass? Or walked past a penny sitting heads-up on the street? For our readers, these little bits of luck only scratch the surface of the good fortune they’ve experienced in their lives. Here, they share the biggest and most unbelievable strokes of luck they’ve ever had, from finding lost rings to winning free cars.

Our Readers Share Their Greatest Strokes Of Good Fortune 1

Knowing when to cash in

My mother’s luck was legendary. She once won a brand-new Ford in a church raffle. Forty years later, she won a Mercedes from the same church. My favorite was when she visited Las Vegas. My sister gave our mother $25 for fun. Mother spent it all on one chip, dropped the chip into a giant slot machine, won $125 and said, “That’s probably enough.” —Angela Murphy-Walters, Elizabethton, TN

A goof-proof roof

Three months after buying our home, we learned we’d need a new roof because of damage incurred right before closing. It was a drawn-out process involving real estate agents and insurance. For months, we got nowhere. Then I arrived home one day to a crew working on the roof. I was confused as to why I hadn’t been notified, until my neighbor strolled up and said, “My roof sure looks nice on your house.” Turned out, my neighbor’s shingles had been mistakenly delivered to our house, and the crew just started working. The roofing company admitted its mistake, so we wound up with a free roof. The freakiest part? We got a final claim rejection letter in the mail that evening. We would’ve had to pay out of pocket. It remains the weirdest stroke of good luck we ever had. —Jennifer Schoonover, Trimble, MO

Our Readers Share Their Greatest Strokes Of Good Fortune 2

A real diamond in the rough

My wife cherishes her diamond engagement ring. Six years into our marriage, it disappeared. We searched everywhere—all over the house, her classroom, the yard—but no luck. We replaced it with a cubic zirconia copy. One afternoon 14 years later, while digging in the garden, I saw something: my wife’s diamond engagement ring, still shiny after all these years. —Lawrence Lefke, North Myrtle Beach, SC

An electrifying find

I was a repairman fixing an outlet at the apartment of a woman who had just moved in. I removed the outlet cover and noticed a piece of paper folded so tightly between the outlet box and wall stud that I had to use needle-nose pliers to pull it out. Much to my surprise, I unfolded a $100 bill! It had nothing to do with why the outlet wasn’t working. The new tenant said it wasn’t hers, and the previous tenant didn’t respond to a message about it. My boss eventually told me to just keep the money. To a father of two in 1979, that $100 was a lot of money and a stroke of great luck. —Paul Diggs, Oklahoma City, OK

Our Readers Share Their Greatest Strokes Of Good Fortune 3

A heads-up buy

A man holding a yard sale noticed me looking at a jar of old coins. He told me it contained some rare coins, including several wheat pennies and “a real old Indian head penny from way back in the 1800s.” As a coin collector, I knew that one coin could be worth hundreds of dollars. He wouldn’t let me examine the coins, so I bought the jar for $3. When I examined my find at home, I found the Indian head penny, but there was a hole drilled right through the center. It was worthless to a coin collector—a copper washer at best! And there were no wheat pennies at all. The man had lied to me. I did find a rare Canadian coin worth $200, though, which he must’ve overlooked. He thought he’d sold me a jar of duds, but karma bit him hard that day, and it kissed me on the cheek. I still have that rare coin. —Joseph Duckworth, Davisville, WV

Tact for tack

I’d flown to England with my church group for an educational trip. One gentleman said he’d lost a gold tie tack earlier in the day. That evening, a friend and I went for a walk. When we were a considerable distance from the hotel, I suddenly stopped. “I think I just stepped on a thumbtack,” I said. It was, unbelievably, the man’s tie tack that pricked my foot. I was happy to return his treasured retirement gift. —Betty Shoemaker, Hilton Head Island, SC

Our Readers Share Their Greatest Strokes Of Good Fortune 4

Luck strikes twice

Feb. 4, 1951, was a lucky day for me indeed. Pillsbury was hosting a big Bake-Off event, and I’d submitted a jingle to its jingle-writing contest. I woke up the morning of the event, business as usual, when my labor pains began. My husband and I rushed to the hospital, where I had a healthy delivery. Three days later, a man knocked on our door. I was supposed to have been at the Bake-Off for the jingle winner’s announcement, and apparently they’d stood on stage announcing “Louise Miller! Louise Miller has won!” but I was in labor and obviously forgot all about it. I was in bed holding my son when the gentleman presented my winning prize, a sterling silverware set and mahogany chest. He smiled and said, “Talk about being born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth! This baby has a complete set.” Yes, it was my lucky day—twice! —Louise Miller Glen, Burnie, MD

Not quite a needle, but close

I was mowing on my ranch, and thick hay kept getting wrapped around the rotor. Every time I had to dismount the tractor to cut the hay. By the fourth time, I realized that my best knife was missing. Assuming it was lost to the hayfield, I got another and kept mowing. Later, while hauling the baled hay into the barn, I noticed that two of the bales were mistakenly tied together. I stopped to pull them apart, and there it was—my knife packed between the only two bales that needed checking. What are the chances? —Ken Macrae, Ellensburg, WA

Our Readers Share Their Greatest Strokes Of Good Fortune 5

Lucky No. 92

In 1984, my wife’s favorite radio station was giving away a Mustang convertible. Lyn was one of 103 (the Florida radio station’s call sign) callers to win a key. Only one would start the ’Stang. Lyn had key 92. Her confidence rose as those before her tried their keys and failed. After key 91 cranked and busted, Lyn strode up to the Mustang, confidently waved the DJs away from the hood and announced, “I’m taking this baby home tonight!” The crowd hooted as she opened the door, boldly buckled the seat belt (which no one else had dared to do), settled into the driver’s seat, turned her key—and fired up the engine! The radio station played her scream of joy over and over for weeks. —Christopher Springhorn, Houston, TX

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest