Today's Article - Roy Sullivan

This article is for quizzes on Tuesday June 28th...

Roy Cleveland Sullivan (February 7, 1912 – September 28, 1983) was a United States park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Between 1942 and 1977, Sullivan was hit by lightning on seven different occasions and survived all of them. For this reason, he gained a nickname "Human Lightning Conductor" or "Human Lightning Rod". Sullivan is recognized by Guinness World Records as the person struck by lightning more recorded times than any other human being.
The odds of being struck by lightning for a person over the period of 80 years have been roughly estimated as 1:10000. If the lightning strikes were independent events, the probability of being hit seven times would be 1:100007 = 1:1028. These numbers do not quite apply to Sullivan, however, who by the nature of his work was more exposed to storms than the average person. Virginia, where he lived, averages 35 to 45 thunderstorm days per year, most of which fall in June, July, and August. Between 1959 and 2000 lightning killed 58 people and injured at least 238 people in Virginia. In the United States, 3239 people were killed and 13,057 injured by lightning in the same period. Most of those were males between 20 and 40 years old caught outdoors.


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