Image: Flickr, Ed Uthman
She doesn’t know it yet, but an unidentified Bay Area woman has a $100,000 check waiting for her.
A local recycling center is searching for a woman who dropped off an extremely rare Apple I computer, and then left without providing her contact information. The facility later sold the computer for $200,000, and is now looking for the mystery woman, so they can split the money.
The woman dropped off several boxes in early April, and said she was cleaning out her garage after her husband recently died, San Jose Mercury News reported. CleanBayArea, the Milpitas, California, facility that accepted the items, had a backlog of donations at the time, and didn’t go through the woman’s boxes until two weeks later, according to the newspaper.
It was then that CleanBayArea discovered the rare Apple I among her boxes, and sold it to a collector earlier this month for $200,000. The woman declined to provide her information for a tax receipt when she made the donation, according to CleanBayArea vice-president Victor Gichun.
“We are looking for her to give her $100,000,” he told the Mercury News. Gichun said that even though the woman didn’t provide her name, he remembers her clearly, and would recognize her if he saw her again.
The Apple I was the first computer ever made by the Cupertino-based company. Each one was hand-built by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak in 1976. The company only sold around 200 of the machines, and collectors say only a handful are still in existence.
Remaining Apple I computers are known to fetch huge sums on the rare occasion they resurface at auctions. In 2013, a still-functioning Apple I sold for $671,400 at a German auction house.
Clean Bay Area is an electronic recycling facility that specializes in computers, semiconductors and other electronic waste. Most of its donations come from local businesses, although it does accept donations from individuals. Gichun said his company’s policy is to split what it makes from sales with donors.