Weather Wise Kids: Can You Get Struck by Lightning More Than Once?

Trent, 9 years old, wants to know if a person can get struck by lightning more than once?

Well Trent, so far this year, six people have been killed by lightning.  Many more, however, have been struck but survived.  In fact, the majority of people struck by lightning do NOT die.

And yes ~ some people can actually survive a lightning strike more than once.

As a matter of fact, there is at least one person who has been hit by lightning seven times and survived.  American Park Ranger Roy Sullivan got hit seven times between 1942 and 1977.  His hair was set on fire twice, and he suffered burns on many parts of his body.


He’s gone through so much that he got the nickname “The Human Lightning Rod.”

Mr. Roy C. Sullivan worked at Shenandoah National Park from 1940 to 1976 in a variety of jobs. He began his career as a fire lookout and ended as a park ranger. This slide was taken in the mid-seventies, probably 1976, when Mr. Sullivan was a U.S. National Park Service Ranger. He retired from the Park in late 1976 and died a few years later. At one time Mr. Sullivan was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being struck by lightning more than any other living person. (AP Photo) Roy C. Sullivan arbeitete von 1940 bis 1976 im Shenandoah-Nationalpark in Waynesboro im US-Bundesstaat Virginia. In dieser Zeit wurde er sechsmal vom Blitz getroffen. Das letzte Mal erwischte ihn 1977 während eines Angelausflugs ein Blitz - Sullivan überlebte und sicherte sich damit einen Eintrag in das "Guiness-Buch der Rekorde".


The odds of being struck by lightning for a person over a period of 80 years is roughly 1 in 10-thousand.  The odds of a person getting struck by lightning seven times in one lifetime is… 4.15 IN 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.

(souces:  The NWS, Guinness World Records)

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