For What It’s Worth

Hitting non-lottery jackpot

Some people spend big bucks in hopes of hitting a lottery jackpot but don’t; others spend a few bucks with no thought of winning the lottery and hit a jackpot.

A toilet working at its gurgling best couldn’t have flushed money down the drain any more quickly and efficiently than the recent $640 million dollar lottery jackpot. Millions of dollars vanished, leaving unfilled fantasies which most of the dreamers never really believed would be realized.

However, in the last week two people with no hope or intent of hitting a jackpot forked over a few bucks at a thrift store and a garage sale and hit jackpots worth thousands, perhaps millions of dollars.

In Clintonville, OH, Zach Bodish visited a Volunteers of America thrift store and for $14.14 purchased a print he thought was a reproduction of a Picasso print. Why not? For less than 15 bucks he could have a “Picasso” to frame and put on the wall. It might be different for him, but many of my friends would be impressed if they saw a “Picasso” on my wall. Many would be surprised that I could spell Picasso, much less know who he was.

After buying the print, Bodish noticed in one corner there was a red signature. He did some research and concluded that he now owned an original artist proof. Jackpot!

“I started shaking a little bit,” he told the Columbus Dispatch. “I realized it wasn’t going to make me rich, but still, how often do you find a Picasso?”

About as often as most people win the lottery, Mr. Bodish.

Additional research validated the discovery and, according to news reports, the print could sell for up to $6,000 and double that in a gallery. The newspaper reported that Picasso created this piece in 1958 for an Easter exhibit of his ceramic work in southern France.

Bodish, who was laid off from his job two years ago and is currently looking for work, told the Dispatch, “There’s a good chance I’ll probably sell it. I want to keep it, but money is tight.”

Despite having hit the jackpot of owning an original Picasso, Bodish said he is not a true fan of the print. “I have to admit brown is not my favorite color,” he said.

Forget the brown, Mr. Bodish. Think green, the green it is worth to you. Going green is all the rage, you know.

As nice as Mr. Bodish’s jackpot is, it doesn’t match the one Andy Fields hit.

Fields, a businessman from Tiverton, England, visited a garage sale and for $5 bought a colorful sketch of the 1930s actor and singer Rudy Vallee. In the bottom right corner of the sketch is a signature—Andy Warhol.

That might be worth five bucks, right?

Turns out, you would have to put some zeroes behind the 5. The sketch has been authenticated as an illustration drawn by Warhol when he was 10 or 11 years old. It is an original and news accounts indicate it is valued in the low millions. Nice jackpot for someone who wasn’t playing the lottery in hopes of winning millions.

Believe it or not, Fields told reporters he does not intend to sell the artwork. Instead, he wants to put it on display in an exhibit.

I don’t buy lottery tickets, but I may have a better way of hitting a jackpot: my wife occasionally visits a thrift store or garage sale. Henceforth, on those rare occasions that I accompany her to a garage sale or thrift shop visit, I’m skipping the tools and books and taking a look at prints and sketches.

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One Response to For What It’s Worth

  1. Cindy says:

    Can’t wait to hear what you find! 🙂

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