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A woman basically threw away a $200,000 piece of history

A woman basically threw away a $200,000 piece of history
Photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

The story seems innocent enough. A woman in Silicon Valley, California, was cleaning out her garage after husband died. Naturally, she made a stop at her local recycling center to drop off some of the unwanted old computers and other electronics.

That was her first mistake. Workers for the recycling center, called Clean Bay Area, were going through the boxes and found an old Apple computer. But this was no ordinary Apple. I was identified as a vintage Apple 1, now a collector's item worth an estimated $200,000.

In fact, the computer she gave to recycling is one of only about 200 machines made - it's a first generation desktop computer assembled in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne. It's no doubt a valuable piece of history.

The recycling center managed to sell the computer at auction for a cool $200,000 to a private collector and is looking for the woman who dropped it off so they can give her a cut of the earnings. It's company policy to split proceeds 50/50 with its donors.

Only, the woman didn't leave any contact information behind. Recycling center Vice President Victor Gichun told The San Jose Mercury News:

"She said, 'I want to get rid of this stuff and clean up my garage,' " Gichun said. "I said, 'Do you need a tax receipt?' and she said, 'No, I don't need anything.' "

If you know the woman in question, tell her she has a huge check waiting for her. All she needs to do is return to the recycling center and claim her money.

"To prove who she is," Gichun said, "I just need to look at her."

Here's one of the many different videos that Clean Bay Area is sharing on YouTube and its social site to help locate the woman:

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