The $200 in Walter Samasko Jr.’s bank account was just to throw everyone off. He was really worth about $7 million, which he kept in the form of gold bars and coins stashed in boxes in his Carson City, Nev., home. And nobody knew until authorities stumbled upon the riches after Samasko passed away.
The 69-year-old recluse, who had lived in the house since the 1960s, was found dead in his home more than a month after he succumbed to heart problems, according to the local coroner. Without any close relatives, the house was being emptied and readied for sale when, inside the boxes marked “books,” officials uncovered a treasure trove of riches. Samasko, who appeared to be a hoarder, had stashed the boxes around his house and in his garage, according to ABC News.
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Some of the gold coins were minted in the 1840s in Mexico, England, Austria and South Africa, according to the a$sociated Press. The $7 million price tag could stretch higher still, as some of the coins might be collector’s items.
Without a will, authorities have been searching for his closest relative, apparently settling on a first cousin that lives in California who attended Samasko’s mother’s funeral in 1992.
Neighbors didn’t hear from the wealthy man much, saying they never had problems with their quiet streetmate. The Las Vegas Sun reports that Samasko was a conspiracy theorist — guns and books supporting that position were found in the home — and feared contracting diseases from shots, so he never went to a doctor.
But he did go somewhere that allowed him to purchase stocks, as he had accounts worth more than $165,000, plus over $12,000 in cash at home.
There’s no word on how Samasko acquired his fortune, but Nevada authorities want to sell it off as soon as possible and get it in the hands of a relative, who, we would think, would find a better use for it than just in boxes in a garage.
Read more: Nevada Recluse Hoarded $7 Million Worth of Gold Bars and Coins in Home | NewsFeed | TIME.com