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The Most Valuable Locker Ever Discovered On Storage Wars

Over 12 seasons, the cast of Storage Wars made some interesting finds between them. From an entire beekeeping kit to a massive My Little Pony collection to a World War II minesweeper to an entire comic book collection, the group found items inside abandoned storage lockers owned by people from all walks of life (and with all sorts of interests) over the years.

There have been plenty of very valuable lockers the group have bid on as well. A surprising find on Storage Wars season 1 saw a huge stash of newspapers from the day Elvis Presley died, which turned out to be worth a whopping $90,000. (Yes, that is the correct amount of zeroes.) Another locker that also turned out to be worth $90,000 housed a massive stock of collectible toys. Then there was a haul of $27,000 worth of vending machines.

But those pale in comparison to the massive profit one locker resulted in. Here's the most valuable locker the Storage Wars cast ever found.

The Storage Wars locker worth hundreds of thousands of dollars

There are a number of worthy contenders for the top spot on the list of most valuable Storage Wars locker finds, but the winner is Darrell Sheets' discovery of a Frank Gutierrez art collection that was valued on site by an expert to be worth around $300,000. The find came on the season 3 finale of Storage Wars. 

Sheets spent what many would consider quite a large amount of money on the locker, winning the unit with a bid of $3,600. Fortunately for him, the gamble certainly paid off when the collection was discovered.

After some further investigation, Sheets shared on Twitter in December 2012 that he had found out that the locker actually belonged to Gutierrez himself, and was in contact with him over his rather valuable discovery inside the locker. "Best part is I got to speak to Frank G and I'm giving him back a lot of his personal items he is a very wonderful man," Sheets tweeted.

Of course, the discovery came just after Dave Hester, another cast member of the show, publicly claimed that Storage Wars was rigged and that some items were being planted in the lockers to make for more dramatic and interesting reality TV. (In that case, it perhaps wasn't such an "unexpected" find?) The A&E Network denied Hester's claims, but it certainly wouldn't be the first reality show that wasn't quite as realistic as it likes to make out.

An even bigger find happened without the cameras rolling

Outside the direct limelight of Storage Wars, there have been a few lockers auctioned off by series cast members Dan and Laura Dotson through their company American Auctioneers, which owns the A&E show. Some of those have proven to be even more valuable than what's been found on Storage Wars, but, unfortunately, they were discovered without the presence of rolling cameras, so they never made it to television.

One locker in question had a real-life pirate treasure trove inside it. The locker was auctioned off by everyone's favorite pro auctioneers Dan and Laura, and was won by a man who opted to share only a first name publicly. According to ABC News, "John" spent just $1,100 on the locker at an auction, but got quite the return for his money.

Inside the locker, John discovered a rather unremarkable blue Rubbermaid container that turned out to contain a surprisingly remarkable haul. Opening the container revealed it was full of actual Spanish gold coins as well as gold and silver bars that dated back centuries. After having the treasure appraised, John was amazed when he was told it is worth $500,000.

The unit in question had previously been owned by an elderly woman who had passed away some months before.

Storage Wars' Dan Dotson made a multi-million-dollar find

Another incredible — and, if you can believe it, much bigger — off-camera discovery also happened when Dan Dotson was performing his auctioneering duties. Dan didn't discover the value of the locker until way after the fact, when a woman approached him at a charity event to tell him a locker her husband had paid a paltry $500 for had a safe inside it. In the safe was no small find: the man pulled out a total of $7.5 million in cold. hard. cash.

NPR reports that the original owners naturally felt quite aggrieved at discovering that their tidy nest egg had been auctioned off right out underneath them. An attorney for the previous owners contacted them with an offer of $600,000 reward money for the return of the cash. After declining that offer, a second offer from the attorney saw the locker winners taking $1.2 million of the money and returning the remaining $6.3 million, an offer the new owners decided to accept.

As with the Spanish gold discovery, the cameras weren't rolling on the day the most valuable locker the Dotsons have ever auctioned off was discovered. Though $300,000 is almost nothing compared to $7.5 million, Darrell Sheets' discovery technically still remains the most financially impressive Storage Wars find in history.