She was desperate to find out what it was.
The expert had flown in all the way from California to examine what the woman found inside the old couch. He held it at arm’s length and took a good look. But she never expected what he had to tell her.
The Canadian woman – who asked to remain anonymous for reasons that will become clear – had bought the couch from a thrift store after her old one fell apart.
At the time, she was struggling for cash and thought that snapping up a couch for $25 was a great deal. If only she knew there was a hidden extra that came with it.
After a friend helped move it into the living room, the woman was pleased with how great it looked. It was super comfortable and her dog seemed to love it.
In fact, the persistent pooch was always jumping on the couch and burying its head between the sofa cushions. “The previous owners must have had a cat or something,” thought the woman.
Friends and family were very impressed with the bargain couch, complementing the woman on her great eye for a bargain.
Her father found it very comfortable and would sink deep into the cushions with his feet up, which was great news because he often complained about the previous one being too firm. But one night, after reaching into it to retrieve her phone, she brushed against something that made her hand jerk back.
Something cold and bendy lay beneath the old couch cushions. The woman’s excitement about her thrift store find turned to dread. What was that?
Her knee-jerk reaction to whatever lay inside the couch triggered the dog to bark at it. She didn’t dare return for another blind fumble in the depths of the couch, so a friend flipped the cushions with a broom and tried to get it out. Then they heard the rattling.
The woman was relieved when an old watch fell out of the couch cushions. She was worried there was some kind of snake or reptile lying in wait under there. Or maybe a concealed weapon.
“Of course that’s not mine,” her father responded when he asked if it was his. “You know I can’t afford a Rolex.” Being an honest person, the woman placed a call to the thrift store.
Being wise enough not to mention it was a Rolex, the woman asked if anyone had reported it missing. They hadn’t, nor did the previous owner leave any contact information.
The woman found the details of a watch expert in the US, Paul Altieri. While some people might send the watch through an insured courier, after hearing the description of the watch, Altieri sent out a representative personally on the next flight to Canada.
The woman had even alerted the authorities, but after taking a look at the couch, insisted that it’s rightfully hers. “It might be worth some money,” thought the woman, who continued to search inside the couch for more treasures. “Maybe even a couple of thousand.”
The expert arrived and looked at the watch. When he realized what he was holding, it took a long time to convince him that she had found it inside a thrift store couch bought for just $25.
The woman had found a vintage Rolex Daytona 6241 “Paul Newman.” The sale of the same make and model broke the record for the most expensive watch ever sold at auction in 2017.
When the expert told the woman exactly how much it was worth, she almost passed out there and then on the $25 couch.
The Rolex was bought from the woman for a cool $250,000. She was of course over the moon, but has declined interviews in order to protect her newfound wealth.
A Rolex Daytona owned by Paul Newman himself fetched $15.5 million, but the woman was very happy with what she walked away with having only spent $25 on the couch she found it in. And now a host of watch collectors are desperate to get hold of it.
But Paul wasn’t interested in the offers coming in from other collectors. “There have been a few vintage Rolex Daytona collectors who have reached out to me to ask if they could purchase the timepiece,” he said. “But for right now, I plan to keep it in my personal collection.
“Vintage Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona models have been terrific investments these past five years. The preowned-Rolex market is booming.” Meanwhile, the woman who found it had already decided what she was going to do with the money.
While she declined any interviews about the one-in-a-million thrift store find, Altieri himself did ask what the woman planned to do with the quarter of a million dollars he handed over to her. “Buy a house and get cosmetic surgery,” said the woman, who was able to quit her minimum wage job after the windfall.
Ever found anything strange between the couch cushions? Perhaps considering what this woman found, it might be worth taking another look.