even the best intensions don't mean you won't blow yourself up
Illustration: Eric Larson
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Winner: Ronald Cox, Scunthorpe, England

Ronald Cox had good intentions when he blew up his house. Really, he did. The 75-year-old retiree from Scunthorpe, England, was just trying to remove glue from some kitchen floor tiles. The cleaner didn't work that well, so he poured on a cup of gasoline—or petrol, in local parlance. When the volatile vapors spread to Ronald's boiler, the explosion blew out a bay window and brought down part of the kitchen ceiling. Fortunately, Ronald escaped unharmed. After responding to the scene, a local fire official offered some helpful advice, albeit a bit late: "The place for petrol is outside, in motor vehicles."

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