A Japanese mom tried to sell her son's old Magic: The Gathering cards online only to discover that his collection was worth quite a bit of money. In fact, it included one of most valuable cards in the long-running game.
Magic has been going strong for more than 20 years now, which means quite a few cards have had an opportunity to appreciate in value. The Unlimited version of Black Lotus, for instance, usually pulls down $5,000 when sold.
That card actually happened to be in a collection that was nearly sold on Yahoo Auctions in Japan. According to Kotaku, this entire debacle caused some serious trouble for the family involved.
We've all heard this story before: A kid moves out of his family's home, leaving a bunch of their stuff behind. The parents leave the stuff untouched for a while, but eventually, they decide to start clearing things out. To do that, they grab all of the kid's old "junk" and either chuck it, sell it, or donate it to charity. And, wouldn't you know it, some of that junk was worth a heck of a lot of money.
In Japan, a lady discovered her son's old Magic cards and decided to get rid of them. Thankfully, she didn't decide to trash or donate them, because then this story wouldn't have such a semi-happy ending. Instead, she threw them up for auction starting at $9, noting that some were really old and possibly damaged. She admitted that she knows nothing about Magic and, therefore, couldn't field any questions concerning the cards.
When she came back to check on the auction, she saw that it had skyrocketed to more than $5,000 for the top bid. By then, some saint had realized what was going on and actually managed to track down the owner of the cards and let them know that their mother was trying to unload their valuable collectibles.
From the sound of things, the guy didn't take this very well. The woman stated that her family was "on the brink of collapse" due to the auction and that her son was on his way over to pick up his cards. She apologized profusely to anyone who bid on the cards and, while I'm sure the folks placing the highest bids were a bit disappointed, I doubt anyone can be too angry at the outcome. Again, it's pretty easy (and kind of terrifying, if you're a collector) for these things to happen. They just usually don't have such a rare item involved.