One person’s trash really is another person’s treasure.
An Arizona man made quite the thrift store find at a Phoenix Goodwill recently in the form of a rare watch that he bought for a few dollars then sold for $35,000.
“I’ve found some stuff in the past that I have been really excited about and stoked, but this is one of those things you’re like, one day, one day it will happen, and it happened for me,” Zach Norris said.
Norris collects watches but had gone into the Goodwill store that day looking for a golf pull cart. He happened to take a look in the watch section and found a rare 1959 Jaeger-LeCoultre diving watch. The tag read $5.99.
“I didn’t even want to give it to her to scan,” he said. “I was like, you can scan it in my hand if you want to. I just didn’t want to let it go.”
He explained how Goodwill could have missed the rare gem.
“Sometimes they just miss it, they don’t know,” Norris said. “It’s not a very fancy-looking piece. You have to know what it is.”
Only about 900 of the diving watches ever made, he added.
“I knew I didn’t want to keep it because it’s kind of above my means to have a piece like that,” Norris said. “I had a couple of good offers.”
After his find ended up on Hodinkee.com, a watch collectors website, someone in San Francisco bought it for $35,000. The collector even threw in a $4,000 Mega Speed Master watch to sweeten the deal.
Norris is using the unexpected windfall to plan his wedding.
“We’ve been planning a wedding for a while, but now that we have the extra funds we’re going to go ahead and start taking care of everything,” he said. “We’re excited.”
Norris also donated some of his profits back to the Goodwill.
He also offered advice for those hoping to also hit it big trolling thrift stores.
“You can do it. Research everything. Just take your phone in there and if you see something that looks goofy, you haven’t seen it before, Google it. You never know.”
A version of this story first appeared on KTVK’s website and was distributed by the CNN Wire.
Correction: A previous version incorrectly stated the amount the watch was worth. The post has been updated.