Woman dumps ultra-rare $200,000 Apple 1 computer in the trash

Mystery Californian could claim $100k for venerable old box

A widow who dumped a 1976 Apple 1 computer at a recycling centre in California is unaware she's in line for a six-figure payout – after the facility sold the vintage kit for $200,000 (£131,700).

CleanBayArea said the "anonymous lady around 60-70 years of age" left a couple of boxes of electronic waste at its Silicon Valley warehouse in Milpitas last month, explaining that "her husband had passed away and that she had decided to clean up their garage".

According to CleanBayArea vice president Victor Gichun, the woman declined to get a receipt or leave her name. A couple of weeks later, a trawl of the boxes revealed the 8-bit Apple 1, which the company subsequently sold to a private collector.

CleanBayArea policy is to split sales profits 50-50 with the donor, and to claim her $100,000 prize, the mystery woman "just needs to show up at the company's warehouse".

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

Steve Jobs, Ron Wayne and Steve Wozniak assembled around 200 Apple 1s, which went on sale in July 1976 for US$666.66.

In 2013, one of the first 50 machines sold for €246,000, while the Henry Ford Museum last year stumped a whopping $905,000 for a working model. ®

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