Dumpster diving is more common than people realize. In fact, it's become a rising trend in the currently strained economy. People who call themselves "freegans" eat and live off what they find in the dumpster. Dumpster diving is their full time job. Others do it on the side to save money on food and other items. People have found some great treasures in the dumpster. Here are some dumpster treasures that made the news.
Carlos, a Wellesley, Massachusetts resident, was dumpster diving in search of children's books. He never expected to find such a large sum of cash. He found a book in the dumpster that caught his interest. When he opened it, he found that it was completely hollowed out and filled with stacks of cash that totaled $20,000. While he could have benefited from such a large amount of money, he didn't feel right taking it for himself. Instead, he reported the money in hopes it would go back to its rightful owner.
$1 Million Lotto Ticket
In 1969, an 83-year-old man named Edward St. John frequented the trash at a local gas station. He liked to gather discarded lottery tickets to ensure that none of them are actually winning tickets. When he found a scratch-off worth $1 million, the news went public. Unfortunately, the man who threw the ticket away came forward. The lottery commission told Kevin Donovan, the man who claimed he purchased the ticket, that whoever possesses the ticket is entitled to its winnings.
Not long after, Donovan passed away of a heart attack, and his children decided to appeal the decision. Being 83 years old, St. John was worried the lawsuit would go on after he passed away, and he'd never enjoy any of the money. The worry caused him to settle, giving a portion of the winnings to Donovan's children. They received $7,000 per year for 20 years, while St. John received $43,000.
Computer Proving Mortgage Fraud
A man named Fabrice Tourre was plastered all over the media in 2011. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was digging into some strange mortgage securities sales, but they couldn't quite find the proof that they needed. Fabrice Tourre threw away his laptop to hide the evidence of his involvement, but apparently forgot to erase all the information off it first.
When an anonymous dumpster diver was looking for some treasure, they stumbled upon the laptop. After discovering the information it held, the laptop made its way into the hands of a local reporter. The information on the laptop, which included several incriminating emails secured the lawsuit that SEC started. Tourre was eventually convicted of mortgage fraud.
The laptop ended up being a treasure for the dumpster diver, the reporter, and the SEC.
In 2013, the show Antiques Roadshow kicked off with a man who found his antique in the trash. While walking by a dumpster, he saw the violin sitting there, and had to take it. His wife was a violin player, and violin was broken. Thinking it was fate, the dumpster violin was a gift for his wife.
He had the violin appraised and was shocked when they gave him the news. The instrument was made by a famous Italian violinmaker named Giuseppe Pedrazzini, and worth a small fortune. After a little clean up to improve the violin's condition, it would be work about $50 thousand.
Dumpsters may be full of garbage, but sometimes you can find a diamond in the rough. While dumpster diving is generally legal in the United States, you have to check your local ordinance before digging through the trash. It's never okay to dumpster dive on private property, or where signs are posted saying it's okay to do so. For extra caution, check with a building owner before searching through their dumpster. Find out here more information about dumpsters.
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