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The Worst Mistakes In History (Part-I)

The Worst Mistakes In History (Part-I)

Captain Edward Smith crashes the Titanic into an iceberg

Money lost in 1909: $7.5 million in shipbuilding costs
Inflation-adjusted: $168 million

The passenger liner, The Titanic, sunk on its maiden voyage from England to the United States in 1912. The Titanic was known as the unsinkable ship, specifically designed to make the long journey to America with no possible chance of sinking.
But one night, the ship crew ignored warnings of icebergs in their path and went onward. The ship hit an iceberg and scraped the entire right side, causing the boat to sink and killed 1,517 people.

An elderly man throws away a Euromillions lottery ticket

Loss in 2010: $181 million
A woman in England who played the lottery every week picked the correct numbers to win the Euromillions, but her husband threw the ticket away. The elderly woman knows she picked the winning numbers because she writes them down on a separate sheet of paper each week before she turns the ticket over to her husband.

A hunter starts the biggest fire in California history

Loss in 2003: $1.2 billion in insured losses
Inflation-adjusted: $1.5 billion

In the fall of 2003, a lost hunter lit a signal flare near the San Diego County Estates. The fire spread and became the largest fire in California's history. The fire destroyed close to 300,000 acres, 2,322 homes, and killed 14 people.

Ford builds the Edsel

Loss in 1959: $250 million in development costs
Inflation-adjusted: $1.85 billion

Ford introduced the Edsel in 1957, only to stop production by 1959. Retail sales were much lower than expected and the continued production of the car was not justified. The classic car was the wrong car, for the wrong market, at the wrong time.

Yasuo Hamanaka tries to corner the copper market

Loss in 1996: $2.6 billion
Inflation-adjusted: $3.58 billion

The former chief copper at Sumitomo Corporation attempted to corner the copper market in 1996. Hamanaka controlled as much as five percent of the world's copper, before prices dropped and his scheme collapsed. In June his trade led to a reported loss of $1.8 billion, which had swelled to $2.6 billion by September. Hamanaka was sentenced to eight years of prison.
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