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Cyclist Misses Both Doomed Malaysian Air Flights

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Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Professional cyclist Maarten de Jonge of the Netherlands needs to play the lottery. Or go to Las Vegas. Or play golf in a lightening storm, carrying a two iron with Bill Murray as his caddie.

De Jonge, of Oldenzaal, Netherlands, who races for team Terengganu based in Malaysia, should definitely be named the “Luckiest Man In The World.” The 29 year old Dutch cyclist has confirmed that he was scheduled to take Malaysian Airlines flights MH370 on March 8th, but changed his flight at the last moment for another, cheaper seat an hour earlier. MH370 disappeared from radar a few hours after take off and has not been heard from since.

If that wasn’t a fortunate enough change, de Jonge now claims he was scheduled to be on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down over the Ukraine Thursday. Again, he claims to have changed his flight plans for economical reason, swapping his departure date to save money.

In an interview with Netherlands public broadcaster RTV Oost, de Jong claims he is not spooked by the two near misses and claims to have a flight booked on Malaysian Airlines later this week. “You should try not to worry too much because then you won’t get anywhere,” he told RTV Oost. “I have been lucky twice, this will be the third time as well.”

“What has happened is terrible, so many victims, that’s a horrible thing,” de Jong posted on his website. “I have my story and I would like to leave it at that… my story is ultimately nothing compared to the misery so many people have suffered.

A check of de Jonge’s schedule shows that his story could be true, as he had valid reasons to be on both flights.

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