Sammy Nickalls
June 01, 2015 9:43 am

So you know that whole “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” thing? Yeah, turns out that’s totally legit. And no, we don’t mean scoring cute clothes at a yard sale (although that’s always super sweet). . . we mean a recycling firm discovering an old computer worth $200,000 in a pile of junk.

OK, let’s back up. An unknown woman was clearing out her house after her husband passed away. She packed away a bunch of old—and apparently, to her, seemingly useless—electronics, and she brought them over to a recycling firm, Clean Bay Area in Silicon Valley. She refused to leave her name or get a receipt.

But little did she know, the contents of the boxes was far from useless. In fact, in one of the boxes was a vintage Apple I. To give you an idea, this is a first generation computer put together by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne almost forty years ago in 1976, according to The San Jose Mercury News. There were only about 200 of these made. . . but only 50 thought to exist. Last year one of these babies sold at auction for $905,000 to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.Um, def not junk.

Unfortunately, the firm only discovered this several months later, since they had a backup of donations. Generally, they only deal with businesses, but they occasionally get individual donations. The recycling firm sold this baby for some serious cash—$200,000—to a private collection. But company policy is to split proceeds 50/50, so they are currently searching for the mystery woman who donated the computer.

“She said, ‘I want to get rid of this stuff and clean up my garage,'” the firm’s Vice President, Victor Gichun, told The Mercury News. “I said, ‘Do you need a tax receipt?’ and she said, ‘No, I don’t need anything.'” (Who knew refusing a receipt could potentially make you miss out on $100,000?!)

If you are the woman (in which case, CONGRATULATIONS), or you know this woman, make sure to pass along this message: all she has to do is stop by the company’s warehouse. The address is 1310 Piper Drive, Milpitas, CA.

But don’t even think about stopping by if you’re not her! Gichun remembers her face. She also drives an SUV. “To prove who she is,” Gichun told the Associated Press, “I just need to look at her.”

We love that this firm is so dead-set on finding this woman and giving her portion of the proceeds to make her life a little bit easier after her husband’s passing, and we truly hope this turns into a happy story indeed!

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