One woman hit the bullseye last week when she attempted to toss out a dusty old rifle at a local gun buy-back in Hartford, Conn.
Unbeknownst to the owner, the rifle was identified as a World War II-era German assault rifle valued between $30,000 and $40,000, NECN reports.
The gun is a Sturmgewehr 44, which holds a 30-round magazine, shoots 500 rounds per minute and is the basis for "every modern assault rifle produced today," Officer John Cavanna of the Hartford Police told NECN.
In the case of the Stg 44, officers said they would allow the woman to sell the weapon -- keeping a piece of history alive and most likely netting a hefty sum for the unsuspecting owner.
At a buy-back in Worcester, Mass. earlier this year, another piece of history was saved from destruction. A vintage Japanese rifle -- complete with bayonet -- was turned in to aprogram run by the UMass Medical Center. Instead of selling it or destroying it, doctors decided to see if any museums were interested in taking the weapon.
And guns aren't the only things getting tossed out that are worth a pretty penny.
At various Goodwill stores across the country, employees and customers have discovered valuable works of art by artists like Salvador Dali and American artist Alexander Calder. In May, a Milwaukee woman bought a print for $12.34 before learning that it was a lithograph worth $9,000.