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What is the word for "victim" but with a positive connotation?

For example: Bill Gates was not successful just because he was smart and hardworking, he was also a "victim" of good luck.

Obviously, victim would not be a good word because victim implies something bad. So what word would fit here?

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    why not beneficiary? – bib Sep 16 '15 at 0:19
  • It's not a single word but you could say, 'he was also blessed with good luck' – chasly from UK Sep 16 '15 at 0:27
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I assume you want the equivalent of the phrase "victim of bad luck" when you want to say "____ of good luck", to convey the idea that the person in question has done nothing to warrant the good or bad circumstances that have arisen. I would use the phrase "beneficiary of good luck".

Used in this context, 'beneficiary' has the especial connotation of being a passive recipient of a benefit. So while you could say (as in the example in one of the other answers) "If a person lights a candle… he will be the recipient of good luck", it would be quite odd to say the same sentence with 'beneficiary', since the person has purportedly done something to bring the good luck about.

The first example that popped into my mind is this eulogy by Cate Blanchett. The relevant context is at 0:18 – 0:53; she uses the phrase "I am the beneficiary of free tertiary education" at 0:46 (and similar phrases several more times), which I think very nicely conveys the connotation of 'beneficiary' used in this way.

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You may also use "subject" in any situation, good or bad. For example: he was the subject of good luck; he was the subject of bad luck; he was the subject of ridicule; he was the subject of praise.

  • subject -> object. He benefitted from good luck. He suffered from bad luck. He was ridiculed. He was praised. He was the object. – Drew Sep 16 '15 at 1:36

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