In Storage Wars the dream is to find that one big score – that fabled locker which holds hidden treasures and riches unsurpassed. While there are times when a rusty generator, a burst bouncy castle, and half a tonne of out-of-date dry pet food prove to be the spoils of the day, sometimes the locker hunters' dreams can and do come true.
Elvis has left the building
In 2010 a large cache of newspapers all dating from the day Elvis Presley died – August 16th 1977 – were found in a storage unit. The newspapers were in great condition and offered a Time Capsule like glimpse into the death of the man they called The King. What at first seemed like an average stack of newspapers ended up being valued at ninety thousand dollars.
In Season Three of Storage Wars Darrell “The Gambler” took a punt on a locker for the princely sum of three thousand, six hundred dollars. The gamble paid off big time when it was discovered that Darrell had just put in the winning bid on a chamber filled with original art by Frank Gutierez. The drawings, paintings, and decorated objects were estimated by an expert as having a total value of somewhere near three hundred thousand dollars, making Darrell's the most successful buy on the show to date.
Back in 2011 Dan and Laura from Storage Wars auctioned off a locker for the average enough sum of one thousand US dollars. In what proved to be one of the most remarkable sales of their career, a hoard of pirate treasure – Spanish gold “Pieces of Eight”, some as old as the 16th century – was found in the locker. The box of coins which proved to be worth in excess of five hundred thousand dollars was so heavy that it required three people to move it out of storage. The lucky buyer chose to remain anonymous – probably just in case any angry pirates came looking for their loot.
Again in 2011, a near-mint condition copy of Action Comics # 1 was found by the winner of a California storage auction. The comic book went on to sell on comic collector site ComicConnect.com for over two million dollars. Bizarrely, the comic's former owner was non-other than Hollywood legend Nicholas Cage who, having purchased it for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in 1997, reported it stolen in the year 2000.
Related: Top 10 weirdest eBay auctions
Beach Boys Archive
Back in the late 2000s, a Florida USA radio station decided to play the Storage Wars game, purchasing the contents of a locker at blind auction for something like $300. The locker had originally been rented in the 1970s but some time around 2006 the hirer stopped paying and the contents – listed in the auction as “documents and papers” - were sold off to repay the bill and to clear the locker. Those “documents and papers” turned out to be photographs, handwritten lyric sheets, musical arrangements, contracts, and even royalty cheques belonging to 60s superstars The Beach Boys. After an eight year court battle, with the remaining members of The Beach Boys trying to reclaim ownership of the material, the incredible archive was eventually sold via a sealed bid auction for an undisclosed sum somewhere in excess of six million pounds.