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June 1, 2015

Recycling Center Looking for Woman Who Donated Rare Apple Computer

Company Sold 1976 Device for $200,000, Wants to Split Proceeds With Original Owner

Apple image — The Apple Store, Santa Monica, Calif.

A widow has a $100,000 cheque waiting for her after she unwittingly donated a rare Apple 1 computer to a Silicon Valley recycling firm, Reuters is reporting.

CleanBayArea, an e-waste recycling facility in Milpitas, Calif., is now trying to track down the woman after selling the computer to a collector for $200,000.

A woman in her 60s took three boxes of old electronics to the facility in April, saying she had found the items while cleaning out the garage after the death of her husband.

She declined a receipt for the items, saying it was all a bunch of worthless junk, and drove off without leaving her name or contact information.

An employee came across an exciting find in one of the boxes, however. Underneath a pile of old keyboards and wires was a 1976 Apple 1 built by Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The computer, which was sold at the time for $666.66 each, is now scarce, hence the high pricetag.

“The body was made out of wood. I’ve never seen anything like that,” CleanBayArea vice-president of marketing Victor Gichun told Reuters. “My first reaction was it was a fake. Then we started looking at it.”

The company sold the computer for $200,000 in a private auction and now wants to split the proceeds with the original donor, as per the company’s 50-50 split policy.

Gichun said he would recognize the woman if he saw her, adding that he believes she is local. He has been in touch with a number of media outlets, hoping that the woman will read the story and come forward to claim her half of the money.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.