What Would You Do With $7.4 Million In New Found Wealth

Years ago there was a television show called “The Millionaire” in which an anonymous donor would have his representative find some poor deserving soul and give him or her a million dollars. Remember the dream may you have had about a rich uncle, or some other relative, that you didn’t know dies and leaves you a butt load of money?

Yeah, well, as the pig says in those awful advertisements encouraging people to save, “Of course you are just dreaming.” Well not so fast Mr. Piggy. According to the AP, fantasies and/or dreams do come true:

Walter Samaszko Jr. was a loner whose death went largely unnoticed. That all changed when a crew sent to clean out his house found a fortune stashed away in the garage of his modest ranch-style home.

There were ammunition boxes stuffed with thousands of gold coins, from Austria, Mexico and the United States. There was enough gold to fill up two wheelbarrows — more than $7.4 million worth.

“There was every kind of coin you could think of,” said Alan Glover, the Carson City clerk and the public administrator of the estate who borrowed a neighbor’s wheelbarrow to haul the treasure out.

City officials searched through records to find an heir: a substitute teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area who a judge declared Tuesday was Samaszko’s lone surviving first cousin.

The decision means Arlene Magdanz of San Rafael, Calif., is a millionaire. She didn’t attend the hearing and, so far, has not said anything publicly about her newfound fortune.

Officials were able to track her down using a funeral bulletin at Samaszko’s home that led to his father’s service in Chicago in the early 1960s, and then newspaper clippings that listed survivors.

When a lawyer told her that her 69-year-old cousin’s estate was valued in the millions, officials said, she was surprised, just like everyone else, including his neighbors on their quiet street.

No one seemed to know him at all, even though he had lived in the house since the 1960s. His mother lived with him until her death in 1992. When he died, the house was generally well kept.

“I don’t think I saw him in the year I was out here,” said Curtis Hastings, who dropped mail into a slot in Samaszko’s garage. A woman who lived just two doors down said she didn’t know him.

Samaszko’s body was found in June after neighbors called authorities, though it was not clear what prompted them to do so. He had been dead of heart problems for at least a month, according to the coroner.

Officials don’t know what Samaszko did for a living. They also don’t know how he earned the money that was used to buy the gold.

Thanks to SCOTT SONNER and the Associated Press for the information for this post.

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Posted by on December 20, 2012. Filed under NEWS I FIND INTERESTING. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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6 Responses to What Would You Do With $7.4 Million In New Found Wealth

  1. Carol Maietta views

    December 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I sure hope I have one of those cousins, but doubt I do. Imagine stocking all of that away and living so humbly…for what?

    • Bill Formby

      December 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Carol, I may have to live humbly on it but I think I could manage. There are things I would like to do but can’t afford to do now, like working with at risk kids.

      • Carol Maietta views

        December 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

        I meant, what a shame that HE didn’t do something good with it while he was alive.

  2. Jason

    December 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

    I know what I would do in that situation. After the government taking half the money in taxes, roughly……I’d save a big part of it, spend a little, pay off debts/bills and use the rest to fund a movie. It may not sound all that nobel, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to help charitable causes, just understand that a few million bucks doesn’t go that far in California, so I had better turn that money into a way to make a living and then do the charity thing later.

    • Bill Formby

      December 20, 2012 at 11:17 am

      I don’t know Jason, funding a movie is awfully risky in terms of making money. If you could end up with at least $3.5 million and you could get at least 1.5% interest compounded quarterly (I think you could get a little better than that) you would have about $55,000 a year to live on which would be too bad if you had all of your bills paid off. Plus, you would never touch the $3.5 million. I could live with that for a while.

      • Jason

        December 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm

        I know, but I am only funding for 500k….it is a low budget horror flick that I would be funding. The risk is small and return could be really good considering who is signed on for it. “If you don’t take risks, you’ll have a wasted soul” – Drew Barrymore.