CLOSE
Original image
iStock

Best of Luck: Dubai Plane Crash Survivor Becomes Lottery Winner

Original image
iStock

Walking away from a burning plane after a crash landing would make anyone feel fortunate, but for Dubai resident Mohamed Basheer, that was only the beginning of his luck. According to the Associated Press, the 62-year-old was recently notified on Tuesday, August 9 that he is a newly minted millionaire, after purchasing a winning lottery ticket before boarding the Emirates flight that crashed at Dubai International Airport on August 3.

Basheer entered the Dubai Duty Free's Millennium Millionaire sweepstakes, in which participants have a 1-in-5000 chance of taking home a grand prize of $1 million. Each ticket costs just under $278, and according to the report, Basheer had entered the contest 16 times in the past. Having just narrowly escaped death, the auto body repair shop worker did not believe the news when he got the phone call. His coworkers say that he remained calm, just as he had during the accident a few days earlier, and continued working as if nothing had changed.

The luckiest man alive told reporters that he plans to use the money to help his family and he'll work until he reaches Dubai's mandatory retirement age (which is 65). He also hopes to start a program that teaches work skills to the poor.

[h/t Associated Press]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Weird
Switzerland Flushes $1.8 Million in Gold Down the Sewer Every Year
Original image
iStock

Switzerland has some pretty valuable sewer systems. As Bloomberg reports, scientists have discovered around $1.8 million worth of gold in the country's wastewater, along with $1.7 million worth of silver.

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology examined sewage sludge and effluents, or discharged liquid waste, from 64 water treatment plants and major Swiss rivers. They did this to assess the concentrations of various trace elements, which are "increasingly widely used in the high-tech and medical sectors," the scientists explained in a press statement. "While the ultimate fate of the various elements has been little studied to date, a large proportion is known to enter wastewater."

The study, which was recently published online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed that around 94 pounds of gold makes its way through Switzerland's sewage system each year, along with 6600 pounds of silver and high concentrations of rare metals like gadolinium and niobium. For the most part, these metals don't harm the environment, researchers say.

With gold and silver quite literally flowing through their sewers, is there any way that Switzerland could turn their wastewater into wealth? Scientists are skeptical: "The recovery of metals from wastewater or sludge is scarcely worthwhile at present, either financially or in terms of the amounts which could be extracted," the release explains.

However, in the southern canton of Ticino, which is home to several gold refineries, the "concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile," they conclude.

Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, watches, and mountains, but it's also home to major gold refineries. On average, around 70 percent of the world's gold passes through Switzerland every year—and judging from the looks of it, much of it goes down the drain. As for the sewer silver, it's a byproduct of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, which is a cornerstone of Switzerland's economy.

[h/t Bloomberg]

Original image
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
arrow
Lists
14 Things You Owned in the '70s That are Worth a Fortune Now
Original image
DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

From old toys and housewares to books and records, these pieces of '70s memorabilia have aged (and increased in value) like fine wine.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios