Lucky lottery winners who crashed: Rookie helicopter pilot was lucky to escape with his life


Lottery winner Timothy Kniess goes back into his home (inset) after crashing his single seat helicopter.

Winning the lottery is incredibly good fortune. But a winner who escapes from a helicopter crash is doubly lucky.


When Timothy Kniess won $100,000 on a 10th Anniversary Millions scratch-off ticket, he went out and bought a single seat Mosquito XE helicopter with some of his winnings.

A few months later the 56-year-old North Carolina man watched $34,000 of those winnings burn up in flames as he counted himself lucky to be alive, reported the Daily Mail.


The Mosquito XE single seater helicopter, which Timothy Kniess flew around his property.

On a flight on his property, he hit a tree in his front yard and escaped the wreck moments before it exploded.

Mr Kniess was hovering in his front yard when the tail rotor of the chopper hit the tree, and the aircraft flew out of control

Just seven months after winning the scratch-off lottery prize of $100,000, maintenance man Timothy Kniess was watching his pride and joy burn.


Timothy Kniess examines his broken glasses after escaping from the crash with just a few cuts and bruises. PHOTO: Hendersonville Times-News


The North Carolina man had a lucky escape from death when his helicopter spun out of control and burst into flames (pictured is the wreck).


His wife Michelle (above with Timothy) was watching TV when she heard the crash. She told friends online Mr Kniess did not recall how he'd escaped his brush with death, as his feet were stuck in the wreck.

'He did not know how he got out,' she said.

Highway Patrol Trooper Jeffrey Swagger describes the incident for journalists in front of the home of Timothy Kniess.