UPDATE: James Labrecque has countered the original report and now reportedly claims "the buyer never found any money."
There's nothing better than just serendipitously encountering a $20 bill. So imagine randomly coming across a sum worth more than 1,000 times that amount.
A man in Bartlett, Tennessee says he found $26,000 in a used safe he bought on eBay for just $122.93, Memphis WMC-TV reports. The man who sold the safe, James Labrecque, counters that claim, saying "the buyer never found any money."
If true, it wouldn't be the first such mistake, as it turns out a lot of money actually gets given away on eBay, albeit usually on purpose. EBay founder Pierre Omidyar was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy last year for committing $1 billion of his own fortune to charity and promoting humanitarian action on his site in such a way that facilitated buyers and sellers raising more than $63 million for charitable organizations.
Nor would Labrecque's safe be the only one to recently reveal some unexpected contents. Workers at a Chase bank branch in Huntington, New York discovered a stash of counterfeit cash worth $112,000 after they mistakenly opened a safety deposit box, the New York Daily News reports. A mix up over keys caused the discovery. The actual owner of the funny money has yet to be charged.
But some of the most incredible discoveries of forgotten cash often happen when there's no safe involved at all. In France, workers renovating a former winery stumbled across $980,000 worth of gold coins when they literally began to pour from the ceiling, according to The Guardian.
Things may be a bit more convivial across the pond: The owner of the building and the workers have agreed to split the find 50/50.
More bizarre still is the $3 billion stash of platinum believed to be aboard the Port Nicholson, a World War II-era freighter that's currently sunk 700 feet under the sea off the coast of Massachusetts. The platinum is believed to be part of a wartime payment from the Soviet Union to the U.S. but treasure hunter Greg Brooks has raised $5 million to finance recovery efforts, which, if successful, will entitle him to the hunk of sunken bling.