#2. Hooters Waitress Wins a "Toyota"
Imagine that, due to a combination of hard luck and good genetics, you find yourself waiting tables at Hooters. Maybe life has stripped you of every other job opportunity and left you with nothing more than a fantastic rack. So you just make the best of it.
They bottle up all this self-loathing and sell it to ad execs.
Jodee Berry probably wasn't in her dream career when she took a job slinging beers at Hooters, but when management announced that the girl who sold the most beer in a month would win a new Toyota, she busted her ass to win it. After all, waitresses selling Buffalo wings to men who lack the courage to go to a strip club probably aren't going home with a buttload of money every night. A new car would go a long way in putting her pantyhose/shorts combo behind her.
At the end of the month, Jodee was one of the top beer-selling waitresses of the region, so her name was entered into the drawing for the big prize. And she won! Her manager put a blindfold over her eyes and led her to the parking lot. There, to the raucous laughter of everyone but Jodee, sat her award. A toy Yoda.
Later she hung dice around his neck and had a little cry.
The Heartbreaking Truth
There was no car. There had never been a car. The whole contest had been an April Fools' Day joke that Hooters played on its own best employees. Get it! They claimed they were giving out a valuable incentive to reward hard workers, and instead gave their hardest workers a cruel punch in the gut! Hilarious!
Needless to say, Jodee failed to see the humor in getting tricked and humiliated in front of her co-workers. Or of not getting the car she worked hard to win. Which was why she hung up her tiny orange shorts and hooked up with an attorney to sue the shit out of the boob themed restaurant for the car that never was.
"I'm sure I can do this pro-boner."
You might figure that her grievance wouldn't stand up in a court, as she did indeed receive a toy Yoda, and judges are notorious jokesters. On the other hand, she claimed her manager spent the month of the contest saying things like "The winner would get a Toyota AUTOMOBILE" and "No, really, THIS IS NOT A JOKE" and "No, it's cool. My wife and I have an open marriage, I PROMISE." After a year of going back and forth, the two parties reached an out of court settlement that we're assuming was worth a hell of a lot more than a Yoda doll.
#1. Welcome to America! Wait, Never Mind.
As we mentioned previously, getting on the American side of the American border is about as easy as getting "It's a Small World" out of your head right now that we've mentioned it. Yet thousands of people hunker down every year and go through the rigorous process, presumably to get a hold of America's best chili recipes and affordable health care options.
"That's right, honey, we're here! Now don't run too fast or the nice men will shoot you!"
Some of those applicants have an "in," so to speak, a family member or spouse who will sponsor them, or a job that makes them eligible to start the process of naturalization. For others, the process is a little different. One option is entering the Diversity Immigrant Program, which issues 50,000 visas to encourage immigration from underrepresented countries, like Nigeria and Iran and Xanadu. You'll note that these are places that some people have very good reasons for wanting to leave.
In 2008, over 13 million would-be Americans applied for the lottery. Oh, did we mention the process is like a lottery? Eligible entrants are sorted by country and selected for the 50,000 slots via random computer selection. Or bingo cage. One or the other, we're not sure.
No, it's not death matches, or there'd be more Russians around.
In 2011, 22,000 applicants from around the world were informed that their names were drawn and they won the most Power of all Ball lotteries. They were coming to America! Break out the wine! Buy some tiny Old Glories! U-S-A!
The Heartbreaking Truth
Once again, the cold reality of "computer glitch" broke the hearts of thousands. Only this time it wasn't hopeful kids wanting a higher education or lecherous gamblers, but earnest, hard-working people who wanted nothing more than to come to America and to get the hell out of the country they were currently in.
"So these things don't usually explode? And you drive them? Huh."
Instead of conducting a random selection based on 30 days worth of candidates, the computer picked 90 percent of the applicants from the first two days. So, basically, if you signed up after the second day, you were shit out of luck.
The State Department was forced to make an apology after the system malfunctioned. But by that time, it was too late. Twenty-two thousand people were already told they were eligible for the visa. That's when the State Department was forced to hold another drawing where it took data correctly. No one was disciplined for the mistake, and the ones who lost out had to hope that somehow they would actually win the next time around. The odds of winning are only about, oh, 1 in 250.
For more individuals who just couldn't catch a break, check out The 7 Most Bizarrely Unlucky People Who Ever Lived. Or discover 7 Historical Figures Who Were Absurdly Hard To Kill.