Average Joe contractor, David Gonzales paid $10,000 for an abandoned house he spotted in Elbow Lake, Minnesota with his wife last winter. The roof was in bad shape and a neighbouring restaurant had been hoping to buy it and turn it into a parking lot. Mr. Gonzales, a ‘humble working guy’ who remodels homes for a living, made a habit of hiding dollar bills in new walls he put up for people to find one day, you know, just to liven up the workday. But when he began gutting his own newly-purchased fixer-upper, he too found something stuffed inside the walls.
Gonzales and his team started finding old newspapers from the 1930s used as insulation throughout the house, which had been built in 1938. Snuggly wrapped in news dating back to the Great Depression, Gonzales found a 1938 Action Comics #1 featuring the very first appearance of Superman. It had probably been sitting inside those walls of that abandoned house for more than 70 years.
“I knew it was worth money,” the 34 year-old father of four told the Star Tribune. “But I had no idea how much.” It turns out, it’s worth well over $100,000. David is currently selling it on an online auction that ends on June 11th. It has a current bid of $137,000.
But here’s the killer: it could have been worth a lot more! When David invited his family over to see it, he got into argument with one of his in-laws, which resulted in some careless grabbing of the comic and left a big ol’ tear on the back cover (shown below)…
“That was a $75,000 tear,” said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of ComicConnect, who believes the comic book would have graded out at 3.0 on a 10 point scale without the rip. The comic is now graded as 1.5 (a 9.0 grade comic recently went for $2 million on the auction site).
“They got all excited and tried to take it,” Gonzales told the Star Tribune of the moment his wife’s Aunt grabbed the comic. “I understand it’s something cool, but told them: ‘You don’t have to act so rude. I brought you in to show you, don’t grab it.’ ” Gonzales then grabbed it back from his in-law and tore the back cover. The sound must have been excruciating!
“Money won’t buy you happiness,” he says.
David Gonzales, you’re a better human than I!
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