Everyone likes to imagine a Picasso hiding in the attic. However, it is a sad fact that most of us discover nothing but dust bunnies when we finally get rid of the mess.
However, some people have discovered that wealth does not hide in their attic, but in their garbage drawers, backyards, bathrooms, plates, or even their birth certificates. And the things they made money from were not as rare as a work of art – they were things that today, almost anyone can find or buy cheap. Read on to learn more about ten common items that made their owners rich.
10 A Name
When Jason Sadler's mother told him his stepfather needed a divorce, Sadler replied to the message with a joke. Sadler told his mother he just had to sell his last name so as not to be tied to the surname of a third divorced father.
This joke became reality half a year later when Jason Sadler created a website called buymylastname.com. Sadler offered to change his last name into a billboard for any business that was willing to pay for the privilege. What would happen if Nike wanted to change Jason's name into Jason JustDoIt? Jason would indeed do it as long as the synchronization was done for the highest price offered.
Within 24 hours of opening the auction, his selling price rose to $ 30,000. Forty days later, Jason was paid forty-five thousand dollars to become legal Jason Headsetsdotcom.
While "Mr. Headsetsdotcom "could be a memorable title, Jason decided that he would not accept this surname. Headsetsdotcom did not call himself Jason Sadler again. Instead, he auctioned off his last name again, and for fifty thousand dollars Jason was now Jason Sufrapp.
What is in a name? Apparently nearly one hundred thousand dollars.
9 A cup of coffee
On a cold winter's day, Stella Liebeck and her nephew drove to a McDonalds transit. After ordering a cup of hot coffee, Liebck spilled it on her lap as her nephew pulled the car away. Stella Liebeck then sued the restaurant chain for damages and won a lot.
In the first subsequent trial Liebeck vs.. McDonalds awarded the jury compensation of $ 3 million. Although a judge later reduced that price to about half a million dollars and Liebck may have been settling for a smaller amount later, this payout does not seem to be bad if you spend 15 minutes in a fast food franchise, even though it may not be worth it To spend months in this franchise courtroom.
But before we all went to the next passage with a hot drink in one hand and a phone ready to dial our lawyers in another, this deal cost more than a coffee-stained pair of trousers. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns and needed skin grafts to recover, and evidence in the courtroom showed that hundreds of people suffered similar injuries each year because McDonald's franchisees overheated their coffee. This complaint was more a matter of justice than of frivolity.
8 A spring
Richard James worked in a factory during World War II when he nudged a pen from the shelf. He was astonished as the feather gently turned down instead of immediately falling to the ground. When spring fell to the ground, he had an idea: what if he could make a spool that would serve as a child's toy?
After two years of tinkering, he came up with a toy that could stretch, pull back and wind down. His wife, Betty James, brought out a dictionary and called it the creeping. Together they raised a loan of five hundred dollars and built an empire that sold the toys to this day.
At first, James and Betty fought to make the Slinky profitable. Toy stores refused to store it because it was so common. But when the toy prevailed and James made millions of dollars, he donated most of the profits to a religious group he had joined in South America. James was by no means rich, but plunged his company into a seven-digit debt hole. Ups.
Betty took over the company and miraculously reversed it. While she sold enough slinkys a hundred and fifty times to wrap herself around the world, she never let the simplicity and affordability of the slinkys dissuade her and sold her even cheaper in 1990 than she did in 1945.
7 A Tulip  Ein Dutchmen from the 17th century would be shocked if they gave their partner a bouquet of tulips for Valentine's Day. Not because the Dutch preferred roses, but because the sheer value of the tulips (or more precisely their onions) was included in the arrangement.
In the 1600s, tulips had just come from modern-day Turkey to the Netherlands. A virus had hunted the crops, which colored each tulip in its own pattern. Strangely, the sick flowers were worth even more than healthy tulips. The scholars coveted various tulip patterns and bought them as if they were collecting baseball or Pokémon cards.
Soon, the public noticed that academics were buying uniquely patterned flowers at almost any price, and prices for tulips were rising. From 1637 you could exchange a single light bulb for one of the largest and most modern houses in the Netherlands. While prices collapsed less than a year later, people earned and lost wealth for what we are free to give away today.
6 A Stone
Gary Dahl drank in a bar as he developed a concept that took the 1970s by storm, giving his company more than $ 1 million in sales. In a conversation with his friends he found the ultimate pet. It would be docile, housebroken, would have no hair and also a long life. Dahl realized that rocks were the perfect pets in every sense, better than any cat, dog or goldfish.
Dahl realized his drunken idea as he sold stones in cardboard boxes with air holes for the stones to breathe. For just under four dollars, you could own your own stone. An included manual explains how to care for the stone and what tricks you can teach it. In addition to other sardonic jokes, there were instructions on how to train a pet rock to kill itself.
The absurdity of the rocks has captured the whims of Americans around the world. Although everyone could pick up a wild stone in his backyard, the value of the pet stone left him flying from the shelves as a gift.
Like anyone who lives in a city, can tell you garbage is worse than worthless. A New Yorker named Justin Gignac was convinced. He believed that something would sell if it was properly packaged by someone (and this was clearly proven by other items on this list!). He began collecting rubbish from the streets and storing it in odor-proof glass boxes.
Gignac sold it for ten dollars a head and people bought it as souvenirs. He raised the price to fifty dollars, and people bought it as a work of art. Today, the New York garbage costs one hundred dollars per die and, according to its website, is completely sold out at the time of writing (not too unlike New York itself, thanks to de Blasio!).
We breathe about twenty-three thousand times a day. While we can spend money on staple foods such as food, water, housing and electricity, nobody would imagine paying for air. Right?
Two Canadians have proven that people will pay for what they breathe when the two began to bottle the Rocky Mountains and sell them for $ 24 a can. Chinese customers who smothered in smog-filled cities began to buy the bottles to protest (or so to say) the poor air quality and to sniff (more likely) pure, unpolluted air.
We wash our garbage every day without much thought. If we eliminate gold instead of shitting, maybe we'll think twice about it.
Artist Piero Manzoni believed that his own waste was as valuable as gold. In 1961, he deposited his money where it was and preserved ninety cans of his own feces and tried to sell it to his patrons. Less than two years later, he exchanged 30 grams of the material for 30 grams of 18-karat gold.
Not believing that this was another weird by-product of the 1960s, in 2008 another canister was auctioned for over one hundred thousand dollars, which means that Manzoni's poop is currently worth about 65 times its weight in gold.
2 A Red Paper Clip
Kyle MacDonald, a 27-year-old man from Montreal, began his summer jobless, houseless and with a single red paperclip. When Kyle decided to find a home for him and his girlfriend, he did not clean up his CV or open a savings account. Instead, he left his apartment with the red paperclip in his hand and exchanged it for a pen that looked like a fish.
Thirteen exchanges later, he swapped a film role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan. Kyle had traded the paper clip on his desk for a house in less than a year, in a story that shows that even the value of office supplies can bring surprises.
1 Two Boxes of Pizza
In 2010 Lazlo Hanyecz, a hungry developer of a then-unknown cryptocurrency called Bitcoin, had a craving for pizza. Under the internet handle "Lazlo" he offered ten thousand bitcoins to anyone who wanted to order him two pizza places.
Nine years later, in 2019, these ten thousand bitcoins are worth far more dough than flour in two large pizzas. Anyone who had accepted Laszlo (at the time of this writing) would now own more than a hundred million dollars just because he had made two orders from Papa Johns.