An unidentified woman unwittingly recycled a rare, treasured computer put together by Steve Jobs which she now stands to make $100,000 from.
In early April, a woman who cleaned out her house after her husband died got rid of boxes of electronics by donating them to Clean Bay Area, a Milpitas, California recycling firm. When rummaging through the boxes two weeks later, the firm discovered a very rare find: an Apple I computer. Only 200 of the first-generation desktop computers were built by Apple founder Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and and Ron Wayne in 1976.
Clean Bay Area, which recycles computers and lab equipment primarily for businesses and occasionally for individuals, sold one of the most treasured electronics in computer history for $200,000 to a private collector this month. Now the company needs to find the woman who recycled the Apple I because the firm’s policy is to split the proceeds 50-50 with the donor.
The problem is, the woman remains a mystery to the firm. When she dropped off the computer, she refused to take a receipt and didn’t leave her name.
“We are looking for [the donor] to give her $100,000,” Victor Gichun, VP of Clean Bay Area, told the San Jose Mercury News.
The only thing Gichun knows is that the woman drove an SUV. For the woman to get her share, she has to go to Clean Bay Area’s warehouse so that Gichun can positively identify her. As Gichun said:
“To prove who she is, I just need to look at her.”
Like a lottery win not picked up by the winner, this is a lot of dough that’s not being claimed. Lesson: Be aware of the things you may be selling, donating or recycling.