Top 12 people whose accidental findings made them super-rich

Top 12 people whose accidental findings made them super-rich

Updated on August 17, 2022 10:03 AM by Emily Hazel

Some discoveries have made our daily life easy, and some remain the finders' sole possession. Anyway, these findings made the finders go rich; as a result, their wealth multiplied; some say there is no shortcut to becoming rich, but there is always an exception for certain facts to be proved. Getting rich by accident is folklore, but many people have attained the super-rich position by chance. Many call it a lucky charm that worked for a few of the lucky days that made things happen, and who doesn't want to be rich? as it  is not everyone's fate as many dream and only some dream comes real. 

Here are 12 people who became millionaires and billionaires overnight and possibly most unexpectedly and unusually; that includes earning fortunes from failed experiments, reengineering the possibility to change the feature, finding hidden treasures to winning the lottery. Let's take a peek at these fortunate people.


Harry Coover, who came up with Superglue

Will you ever believe that a failed experiment resulted in a successful creator? And here is Harry Coover, who came up with super glue through a failed invention. The American Chemist Harry Coover and his team work hard to make plastic gun sights using a highly adhesive chemical called cyanoacrylate.

Though the experiment was a major flop, Harry Cooper and his team came up with a new invention called the Super Glue. In 1958, the super glue became a mega-hit, and with it came 320 new products into the market, which saw a high sales growth of around 2.5 billion dollars and resulted in the ownership of 460 patents on the glue and he became rich.

He even developed glue for medical purposes, and during the Vietnam war, Harry Coover's glue was used as an aerosol treatment for wounded soldiers, which is now used as a part of surgery. In 2010, he received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barak Obama.

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Bernice Gallego, the Jackpot women

Not everyone gets lucky, but imagine a woman getting twice fortunate? And here is Bernice Gallego, who won the Jackpot twice and became rich The 72-year-old Bernice Gallego from Fresno, California, won 250,000 dollars in one slot from a casino machine.

Though her friends and close ones called it to be luck out of jealousy, something lucky happened again. Just like a normal day, she drew a card from a box of antiques and wished to sell it, for which she placed a selling price of $10 on eBay. She wasn't aware of was that the card was the first baseball card ever.

After hearing this, a hurricane of inquiries reached her, questioning the authentication of the card. When she further dug the details on the card, she learned it was an 1869 edition of the Professional Baseball team, the "Red Stocking B.B. Club of Cincinnati." Taking this as an opportunity, she auctioned it on Memory Lane and fetched the old lady $64,073. The lucky charm worked her part well.

Also Read: A Lucky Man Wins $217M Lottery, Donates Jackpot To Environmental Charity

Frank Epperson, the Man of Popsicle

Carelessness pays its price; what about carelessness paying hefty profits? Carelessness made a boy rich when he became an adult, making him a billionaire later. The eleven-year-old boy named Frank Epperson left a glass full of a mixture of soda powder and water with a stick inside the glass on a cold winter night on his porch, and the boy got to see the first Popsicle he came with the next day morning.

In 1923, 18 years later, he started selling his discovery with a lemonade flavor under the name 'Eppsicles.' After seeing a great market potential in the business, Frank Epperson founded the Popsicle Corporation and patented the ice lollipops.

The brand was later purchased from Frank Epperson for 155 million dollars for the Popsicle brand. In 1928, he received more than 60 million royalties by selling popsicles.

Also Read: 14 of the Best Popsicles to Pick Up on Your Next Grocery Run

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Joseph McVicker inventor of the play-doh

Though it is hard to believe, a wallpaper cleaner became a number one seller when transformed into a Play-Doh. Joseph McVicker, an American man, established a company called Kutol in 1954, selling non-toxic play-doh used to clean the wallpaper.

One day his sister-in-law took the non-toxic dough to the nursery for the kids. On seeing it, the kids went crazy and enjoyed playing with it. This imparted an idea in Joseph McVicker's brain. With this idea, he started another company called 'Rainbow Crafts' under the subsidiary of Kutol.

What he did was that he took the dough and added different colors and different scents, which became a huge hit at once. Then he started exporting the play-doh to Europe in 1964, and in the same year, he sold the company to General Mills for just 3 million dollars. Who knows, without selling, he could have earned more and been rich.

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George de Mestral, the Velcro inventor

A Swiss engineer named George de Mestral struggled and found it difficult to overcome. The problem was that on his way, the flowers of the mountain thistle got stuck in his trousers, and he found it so hard to remove.

As an engineer, he studied the flower's characteristics as what made the flower have a tighter grip. When he examined the flowers under the microscope, he was baffled as h found several small hook-like structures in them. On seeing it, an idea emerged in him, and that's how the system of Velcro came into existence.

His product was a success in the entire Europe continent, and he went to patent his product in his home country. It gained more popularity after the astronauts of NASA started using it for space suits. This continued for over 30 years as the royalties were paid to his Swiss factory, which increased his profits.

Also Read: Types of Velcro

Robert Chesebrough came up with Vaseline

The American Chemist Robert Chesebrough witnessed one of his workers using rod wax as a topical solution to heal cuts and burns in 1859 in Pennsylvania. On seeing it, he took the rod wax for experimentation and with which he introduced a product called petroleum jelly in 1872 to the world.

Soon it became a fast-selling product not only in America but also around the globe as a whole. Robert Chesebrough believed in his product so well that he ate a spoonful of it every day until his death at 96.

Also Read: Do you know that TikTok Vaseline Trend? Slug Away!!

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Roy Plunkett – Teflon coating

DuPont hired Roy Plunkett, and he dedicated his entire career to DuPont. And his first assignment there was to research the new chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants, which were seen as a great advance over earlier refrigerants like sulfur dioxide and ammonia, which regularly poisoned the workers in the food industry and people at homes.

He produced hundred pounds of tetrafluoroethylene gas (TFE) and stored it in small cylinders at dry-ice temperatures before chlorinating it. He and his assistant made a cylinder for use, and no gas came out; the cylinder weighed the same as before.

When they opened the cylinder, they found a white powder and the presence of mind to characterize properties other than refrigeration potential. He found it to be heat resistant and chemically inert and to have very low surface friction so that most other substances would not adhere to it, which came up with a concept called Teflon. It was later trademarked as Teflon, used from kitchenware to cable insulation.

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Teri Horton earned Fortune from Thrift Shop

In 1990, the 73-year-old Teri Horton purchased a painting from a thrift shop in California just for 5 dollars. She gave it to her friend so they could use it as a dart board. However, they decided to sell it as a yard sale.

An art teacher found the piece of painting and complimented Teri Horton for possessing arts like Jackson Pollock. After the conversation with the Art Teacher, Teri Horton struggled to authenticate the painting, and later she sold it for 50 million dollars.

Also Read: Asia's Wealthiest Woman Lose Half Her Fortune In China's Property Crisis

Chris Clark

However, many called it a gamble than an investment. In 1994, the 29-year-old Chris Clark bought the domain –name for just twenty dollars. In 2008, the same domain name was purchased for an amazing 2.6 million dollars, now considered the largest sum ever paid for a domain name to any individual until now.

Also Read: Pizza Delivery Man Saves Five Lives From A Burning Home; Locals Hailed Him As ‘Super Hero’

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Richard Noll, another Jackpot winner

In 2015, Richard Noll wanted a chance for a hundred-dollar bill. To get change, he went to a nearby convenience store and bought some scratch lottery tickets. To his luck, it was the best decision he ever made, as that ticket bought him the 10 million dollar jackpot. Not only did Richard Noll win the lottery, but the store clerk also received a $50,000 bonus just for selling the winning ticket!

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Michael Sparks the Old and Odd collector

Michael Sparks would be present whenever there was a sale on old, odd things. Once, he bought a roll of old-looking parchment in Nashville, which was donated to a thrift store by Stan Caffey, who was a pipe fitter.

Later it turned out that the parchment was dated back to 1820 when John Quincy Adams commissioned the Declaration of Independence. It is one of the 200 official copies that were made during that time. The parchment was then auctioned for $477,650.

Charlie Ayers- Stock options

Charlie Ayers, a professional chef, had already spent seven years working in the restaurant industry. He was a personal chef who made $80,000 per year in Silicon Valley. As he was not satisfied working in the industry so thought of changing his job. By that time, he got a vacancy in a small tech startup that needed a chef though the salary was low as $45,000 per year.

But still, he decided to take up the new job, and over the years, he got benefits. The small tech startup was none other than Google, and eventually, Charlie Ayers became the Executive Chef. As he retired in 2005, his stock options alone were worth 26 million.














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