He Really Did Have a Better Chance of Being Hit by Lightning

Sunday, 01 Apr 2012 03:31 PM

By Russell Small

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"I've got a better chance of getting struck by lightning" than winning the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, Bill Isles told his friend moments after buying three tickets.

The Wichita, Kan., man was right. The volunteer storm spotter for the National Weather Service was hit by lightning just hours after buying three tickets in the record-setting $656 Mega Millions lottery and joking about his long odds, the New York Daily News reported.

Isles had taken his ham radio into his backyard to check for storm activity at around 9:30 p.m. Thursday when a lightning bolt slammed into the ground nearby, the Daily News reported.

"It threw me to the ground quivering," Isles, 48, told Reuters, the Daily News reported. "It kind of scrambled my brain and gave me an irregular heartbeat.

The shell-shocked weather watcher managed to radio other storm spotters about the strike. He was soon rushed to a hospital, where doctors found he hadn't suffered any burns or other serious injuries.

"But for the grace of God, I would have been dead," said Isles, who lost his job at a furniture store in June. "It was not a direct strike."

He didn't have the winning ticket. But he said he won't let the near-fatal experience keep him from playing again.

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