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Is Your Garage A Goldmine?

It certainly could be. While there are many reports of garages being easy for burglars to access, that’s only if the overhead doors are old, damaged or outdated. The truth is that modern garage doors boast high security, so if you’d like to store millions in your garage, that’s possible—in fact, it’s already been done. A reclusive man in Nevada, Walter Samasko Jr., passed away last May from heart problems. However, he was such a hermit that his family didn’t know until one month later.


At just 69 years old, it was an unfortunate yet otherwise unremarkable incident—until his family discovered just what he’d tucked away in his garage. SamaskoHands with gold coins on yellow background lived in Carson City, just a few miles from Reno, and authorities didn’t think much of it when they began to clean out his house. However, they soon discovered boxes full of gold coins in his garage. Clerk Alan Grover says that, “He was quite the hoarder. He had boxes and boxes and boxes of things.”


Safely Stored


It seems that Samasko had some idea about just how valuable his fortune was, since he hid the coins in boxes that were labeled “books.” He’d also wrapped some in aluminum foil and then put them in ammo boxes. The collection consisted of Austrian, British and Mexican coins, some as old as the 1870s. As authorities continued to discover this treasure trove, they needed wheelbarrows to carry it all out. First, Samasko’s treasure was sent to a bank vault via armored trucks.


It’s estimated that his garage storage was worth about $7 million on the sheer weight of gold alone (not taking into account any historical value). “We have to get it all appraised and come out with a real, true figure,” says Grover. It’s possible that the real value is much larger. As for heirs, Samasko didn’t have any immediate family, but he does have a distant cousin in California. Arlene Magdanz, his first cousin, lives in San Rafael, California and is most likely to inherit the garage gold.


A Miser’s Preference


It will likely take months for Magdanz to receive her windfall, but what’s interesting is that Samasko thought his own garage was safer than any bank. When he passed, he had only $200 in a savings account and stocks totaling around $165,000. He’d been living solely off of investments for years. “What was a guy like this doing with this kind of money in just a regular house?” was Grover’s first question.


Samasko had a modest three-bedroom house built in the 1970s, complete with the spacious garages that were popular at that time. There was still orange shag carpeting throughout, and Grover notes that “There were no antiques, no crystal or family jewelry or anything like that. You would never have suspected the guy would have that much—he certainly didn’t live that way.” Samasko trusted his garage to house his millions for years, proof that when properly secured, perhaps your garage is the best vault you could ask for.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 28th, 2014 at 2:58 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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