I've had one of the more interesting weeks of my life.
I just got back from attending the final round of the 2017 Masters tournament in Augusta, GA. I am a huge golf fan, and watch it nearly every week, and I've been to a handful of PGA or Champions Tour tournaments in my life. But I never in my wildest dreams think I'd get to see the Masters, and on a Sunday no less. However, I have an uncle who has been playing the ticket lottery for several years, and this year he scored Sunday tickets. He originally invited my dad to take the other ticket, but dad's hip has been acting up (he needs a replacement) and so the ticket fell to me. I have no idea how much the ticket costs, because my uncle is the definition of a gentile mensch, and wouldn't hear of it, even though he is a man of modest means and now retired. It was a dream come true for me - I think there might be no other sporting event I'd value attending more - maybe the Stanley Cup finals if you could guarantee the cup was won that evening - but that's about it.
Earlier in the week I got a chance to meet and talk with Mark Kelly, a fairly well-known astronaut. This caused me to pull out a folder of souvenirs I have kept from another once-in-a-lifetime event in my life. When I was in graduate school at the University of Florida, a researcher in Indiana was putting together a research team investigating the effects on development of microgravity. The protocol called for having pregnant rats on the Space Shuttle Atlantis, to be returned to earth around the time of birth of the pups. (The mission was STS-66, and the project was Physiological & Anatomical Rodent Experiment, PARE/NIR-R.) Because of the unpredictable nature of the Shuttle schedule, rather than bring students from Indiana, the researcher (Jeff Alberts) wanted a team of somewhat local students. We all signed up immediately. I'm a long time fan of the space program. One of my souvenirs was the badge I used, with my name on it, to drive past the check points onto Cape Canaveral that only authorized personnel can do. It was an insanely lucky circumstance.
What other once-in-a-lifetime experiences have I had? It's increasingly looking like the semester in London I spent as a college student will never be repeated. I got to visit London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, The Hague, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. (The latter 3 because of another coincidence - meeting a friend who'd had a Dutch penpal as a teen and who agreed to have us stay with him for a few days.)
We honeymooned in Banff, Alberta at the end of ski season (I've not skiied since) thanks to the ridiculous generosity of my modest-of-means parents.
I once won some kind of award in high school (the details escape me) and so I met the Governor of Florida at the Capitol along with a handful of other award winners.
I was once a contestant on a local-TV game show and won $50.
Maybe some other things will pop to mind.
My question: what kinds of events have happened to you that, now that you look back, just seem incredibly lucky that they happened to you and not someone else?