Most of us have fantasized about finding a hidden fortune. Whether it’s stumbling across a safe of riches in an attic, or, as was the case for Randy Guijarro, from Fremont, California, unknowingly buying one of the most valuable antique photographs in existence.
Purchased for a mere $2, Randy bought the second confirmed photograph of America’s most famous Western outlaw, Billy the Kid. It features the notorious criminal playing a game of croquet with his gang The Regulators at a New Mexico wedding in 1878.
Check out the video below to learn more about this life-changing find:
The first confirmed photograph of Billy – who was shot dead at the age of 21 – sold for a staggering $2.3 million to billionaire William Koch in 2011. Randy’s photograph, however, has yet to be auctioned because some people still doubt its authenticity.
“When we first saw the photograph, we were understandably skeptical – an original Billy the Kid photo is the Holy Grail of Western America,” David McCarthy, Kagin’s numismatist, told the New York Post.
“We had to be sure we could answer and verify where, when, how and why this photograph was taken. The simple resemblance is not enough in a case like a this – a team of experts had to be assembled to address each and every detail in the photo to ensure that nothing was out of place.”
The picture’s journey of authentication was documented in Billy The Kid: New Evidence. Doubters, however, have said that the people in the picture are too small to confirm their identities and that its background does not bear enough similarities to New Mexico.
But given that experts ultimately confirmed that the picture itself was likely to be authentic, its discovery is a testament to the fact that you never know what you’re buying when you take a chance on something interesting in a thrift store.
“I hope this prompts others out there to look into trunks and attics because there are so many lost treasures out there,” Randy told The Guardian.