What if you saw the world from the top of a 16-story tree?
Won $1,000,000 on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"When the million-dollar question popped up onscreen—Who posed as the farmer for the artist Grant Wood in his painting American Gothic?—I knew the answer before I even saw the four choices (it was Wood's dentist). At that point I knew I had won. I felt hot and started to squirm. There was no timer and they always encouraged us to talk our way through the answers, but I couldn't stretch it out any longer. I had to spit it out. Meredith Vieira and I both started screaming. Tears streamed from our eyes. We jumped from our chairs and gave each other a big bear hug. Confetti was flying, 600 people in the audience were going crazy; it was pure pandemonium. Later, as I drove home alone from the Tulsa airport in my dented Saturn, I screamed, 'I won a million dollars!' I'm still living in the same three-bedroom house and still teach at the same school. But now I can indulge my two vices—shoes and books—and buy pizza for my students." — Nancy Christy, a single mother of two who teaches eighth-grade English at Carver Middle School in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Argued your first case before the Supreme Court?
Were stuck in a tent for ten hours while two lions circled outside?"We were putting out the campfire and someone yelled, 'Oh my god, lion!' The group leader told us to go to our tent, where we huddled together, terrified. Within minutes I could feel the ground shake, and then there was this boom. I never heard a roar, but the lioness's grunt was so fierce and deafening, we were shaking from the power. Here I was in a four-foot-tall weathered tent, bordered from a lion by a piece of nylon. We gravitated toward the middle. If we stayed by the sides, our limbs might accidentally touch the lion. After a couple of hours, we heard something new on the other side of the tent-a second lioness. Every 90 minutes, one of us mustered the courage to stick an eyeball out, only to realize time and time again that they were directly outside our tent-waiting for us. They each weighed about 300 pounds and stood around eight feet long. The pacing and rustling continued hour after hour. At first we whispered back and forth, but then we tried to keep silent. When it got dark, there were no lights, and the cats have night vision. It wasn't safe to check for them, so we just stayed put. When dawn broke around 4:30 a.m., someone peered out and announced that they had gone. There was an exhausted cheer. We could finally breathe." — Paul Rubio, who was working with the Kenyan wildlife service and camping on the outskirts of the Masai Mara when the lions arrived
Landed a twin-engine turboprop plane (after the pilot died mid-flight)?
Performed the National Anthem at a professional baseball game before a crowd of more than 26,000?"Waiting at the dugout, I was grateful that it wasn't too warm and my hair wasn't frizzy. I concentrated on my first note. If I started too high, I'd sound like I was screeching. It was so noisy that I worried I wouldn't hear the announcer call my name, but when I got to home plate, it became surprisingly quiet. I closed my eyes and fortunately started on the right note. I was pointed toward the outfield and couldn't see any faces, but I could sense the crowd. All I heard was my voice reverberating around me throughout the stadium. I grew up watching Whitney Houston and Faith Hill perform at games. When I looked up and saw my face on the giant JumboTron, I thought, 'Who's that girl up there? Wow. It's me.'" — Jordan Shelton, who beat out 800 contestants to win the National Museum of American History's "Star-Spangled Banner" singing contest and sang the National Anthem at the Baltimore Orioles v. Atlanta Braves game on Flag Day, June 14, 2009
Came back to life after flatlining?
Came back to life after flatlining?"I was driving on the Long Island Expressway in icy conditions when my car slid off the highway. I remember hearing glass breaking and metal crunching before I blacked out. I was airlifted to the nearest hospital, but as the doctors worked to stop the bleeding, I flatlined. I remember watching the whole scene in the operating room from above, as if I were observing a stranger. It was really bright, and I could hear the doctors in gowns quietly talking through their masks and the metal clanging of the instruments. Then I saw my own face with my eyes closed and covered with blood, and thought, How could I be watching from above if that's me down there on the table? What the heck is going on? Up until that point, I really thought that I was watching some kind of surgical documentary. Then the vision suddenly ended. The doctors had restarted my heart. I was in a lot of pain, but I felt so grateful to be alive." — Thomas Foote, who "died" after a 1992 car accident and was brought back to life
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