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How Storage Wars' Don Dotson Helped Turn A $500 Bid Into $1.2 Million

If you've ever watched a show like "American Pickers" or "Pawn Stars" and thought to yourself, "You know, it's fun watching these people find hidden gems in other people's trash, but I think I'd like it more if they all had to fight each other for it," then A+E's "Storage Wars" is the show for you. "Storage Wars" follows a group of self-proclaimed "buyers" who are in the business of bidding on abandoned storage units in an attempt to find something valuable inside.

These storage auctions are incredibly competitive, sometimes even leading to fist fights between the various bidders — which is hysterical considering that half the time they're not even sure what these storage lockers contain. There's always a chance that you could be bidding on a locker that's completely worthless, and you never really know. These bidders are essentially taking shots in the dark, just hoping that their locker ends up holding something of incredible value. Sometimes their investments end up paying off in incredibly surprising ways, and the sellers could end up accidentally letting go of a major prize. 

This is a lesson that "Storage Wars" series regular Dan Dotson learned firsthand after he auctioned off a locker that was worth over $7.5 million dollars.

Dotson once sold a $7.5 million locker for just $500

Dotson is an auctioneer who regularly appears in "Storage Wars" to pawn off the various abandoned units to the main cast. During a 2018 interview with NPR, Dotson recalled how he had once sold a unit for just $500, and the man who bought the unit found a locked safe inside. When the man opened that safe, he found $7.5 million in cash, apparently left there by the previous owners. NPR reports that when the original owners discovered their storage locker had been sold off, they offered the new owner $1.2 million to return the rest of their money to them. He graciously agreed to return their money, and still made an absolutely mind-boggling profit.

It's absurd to consider that this amount of money was just sitting there untouched for so long, and even more incredible to consider that Dotson gave it away for just $500. Most of the time, the team from "Storage Wars" spends each episode fretting over antiques and trying to pinpoint how much return they can get on their investment, but never in the history of the show has anyone come across a veritable fortune lying there like a lost piece of treasure. In any case, we're sure that Dotson wishes he had taken a closer look at that locker before he sold it, and that seeing the buyer make such an incredible amount of money had to leave him with his fair share of regrets.