Most of us dream of finding a hidden treasure at some stage of our lives and here are 10 lucky people who did just that.
Nr 1 – Randy Guijarro
Randy Guijarro and his wife from Fremont, California, are avid collectors of old photographs and in 2010, they bought two old photos depicting the Wild West for two dollars. One of the photos portrays a group of people playing a game of Croquet.
A few years later after inspecting the photo through a magnifying glass, Randy recognised one the photo’s subjects as the infamous outlaw, Billy The Kid’.
The photo is believed to have taken in New Mexico and shows ‘Billy the Kid’ playing Croquet with his gang. It’s also believed to one of only two original photos of the notorious outlaw. The other one was bought by billionaire William Koch in 2011 for $ 2.3 million.
Randy’s photo of the kid playing Croquet has been authenticated and is expected to fetch $5million dollars. Not a bad return for an investment of only two bucks.
Nr 2 – Lakeisha Williams
Lakeisha Williams, an honest worker at the Goodwill Charity organisation in Stockton, California, has graciously handed in $10,000 she found in an envelope of donations.
The donated envelope was packed with $100 dollar bills amounting to a total $10,500.
Her honesty has roused praise from all over the world including social media and her boss for not being tempted to pocket the cash, something she could have done without anyone’s knowledge.
Goodwill has a policy guideline for such incidents, and they will temporarily hold on to the money. If the envelope stashed with cash, is not reclaimed after 120 days, it will be considered as a donation and will be kept. If that happens, Kaleisha will receive 10% for her honesty.
Nr 3 – Jason Hyatt
Whilst searching for buried treasure with a metal detector in Essex England, four year James Hyatt and his father discovered the treasure of lifetime.
The two were roaming a field in Hockley, when their metal detector started buzzing loudly and after digging down about 8 inches, a flash of gold suddenly shimmered in the sunlight.
Jason’s father James, reached down and grabbed what turned out to be a religious gold locket believed to be from the 16th Century. The British Museum, examined the relic and confirmed it has a gold content of approximately 73% and weighs one third of an ounce.
It has been valued at $3.2 million dollars and the Hyatt family will share the proceeds with the land owner if it is sold.
Nr 4 – Laura Stouffer
In 2007, Laura Stouffer, was casually browsing in a thrift shop in Summerville, when she came across a framed print of a painting depicting a border collie and a lost lamb in a field covered in snow.
Being a former Antiques Dealer, Laura knew a good thing when she saw one and immediately recognised the print to be of a painting from the mid 18’s, attributed to no less than three different artists. The painting was named “Shepherd’s Call,” and Laura wasted no time in snapping up the bargain.
Later on, after studying her new purchase, she discovered a much more important find. Lurking between the art and its cardboard backing was an original movie poster from the 1930 Oscar winner All Quiet on the Western Front with an estimated value of $20,000.
Nr 5 – Raymond MacCausland
One Saturday afternoon, Raymond MacCausland, a veteran, 72-year-old taxi driver, was transporting a male passenger in Boston, when the passenger suddenly asked him to stop the Taxi outside a Motel and wait for five minutes.
Half an hour passed with no sight of the passenger and MacCausland (known as Buzzy to his friends) became concerned.
The Motels front desk also claimed they didn’t know the man so Buzzy returned to his cab and that’s when he found a backpack on the back seat that contained $187,000 in cash.
Buzzy handed the cash over to the cops who later on, found the man. It turns out, he was homeless, but had just inherited the loot and withdrawn it at the Bank.
After returning the man’s cash, the Boston police asked him if he would like to reward MacCausland and he handed the driver a $100 bill.
MacCausland later said. “I get that much for returning a lost wallet.”
Nr 6 – Jeff Bidelman
After being asked to help clean out an old house that had not been occupied for 20 years since the owners of the property had died, Jeff Bidelman made the discovery of his life.
Jeff, Bidelman, the owner of a collectibles store, in Johnstown Pennsylvania, was invited to evaluate furniture in the house, by the daughter of deceased owners.
She told Bidelman that when she was a kid, she remembers money being stashed away in the walls of the house, by her parents so Bidelman started tapping on the walls and it wasn’t long before the walls broke away to reveal piles of hidden coins.
Some of the coins were dated as far back 1793 and Bidelman estimated their value to be around $200,000.
Nr 7 – Teri Horton
Following an accident in 1987, Teri Horton, was forced to retire from her job and chose a more sedentary occupation of searching thrift shops for bargains.
In 1992, she came across a vividly colourful abstract painting which she bought for $5 and decided to give it to a friend as a gift.
Unfortunately the painting was too big to fit through the door of her friend’s trailer so she tried selling the art piece at a yard sale where a Teacher informed her the painting could be the work of a famous American painter, Jackson Pollock.
One of Pollock’s paintings’ titled N0 5, 1948 had previously sold for $140 million in 2006, and Teri Horton made it her mission to find out more.
She had the painting analysed for authenticity by a Canadian forensic expert, who concluded the painting was genuine.
Terii has turned down several offers for the painting over the years including $9 million from a Saudi art collector and 30 years later, she is still holding out for the right offer.
Nr 8 – David Gonzalez
Building Contractor, David Gonzalez, knew he had found something valuable when he discovered an old comic book hidden in the wall of a house he was working on in the small Minnesota town of Hoffman.
The comic book tilted, Action Comics N0 1, which was published in 1938, featured Superman’s first comic book appearance and it’s estimated there are only about 100 known copies.
Following a bidding process, Gonzalez finally got paid out $175,000 for his rare find, but his asking price could have been more had the comic not been torn in a heated argument with his in-laws, which downgraded its value by $75,000.
In 2011, an Action Comics No. 1 in pristine condition sold for $2.16 million, the highest price ever paid for a comic book.
Nr 9 – Bernice Gallego
Bernice Gallego, an antiques dealer, had been collecting antiquities and artifacts for years and selling them online at eBay. One hot summer’s day she pulled out an old Baseball Card from her collection box and uploaded it to Ebay with a starting bid of $9.99.
However, after learning that the card’s true value could be worth a lot more, she soon deleted her post on eBay. She later found out, the card depicting the The Cincinnati Red Stockings Team, was 140 years old and could be worth more than $100,000.
Bernice had never heard of the team, but soon found out that the 140 year old card was considered one of the first baseball cards ever made.
Bernice finally sold the card at auction and made $64,073 after the auctioneers took their fee.
Nr 10 – Laurie Rimon
Whilst hiking with friends in eastern Galilee in Israel, Laurie Rimon, an Israeli citizen, noticed a shiny object lying on the ground. At closer inspection, she realised it was some kind of gold coin.
She immediately contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority who verified the coin as being an ancient 2000 year old Roman gold coin of which there is only one other known example.
The coin depicts an image of the Emperor Augustus, founder and ruler of the Roman Empire from 27 BCE until his death in 14 CE.
Historians described the coin as being used to pay Roman soldiers at that time with them each receiving three gold coins, each payday.
A spokesman for the IAA said. ‘‘Thanks to Rimon’s honesty, the public will be able to enjoy this rare find, and she will be rewarded with an official certificate in appreciation of her good citizenship.’’