That time someone accidentally sent me nearly $10,000 in pure gold…

by Nick on June 4, 2014

Pure Gold

It was six days ago. A sunny, Thursday afternoon.

The day had started out almost like any typical Thursday in recent months.

I got up super early to work on my side hustles. I went to the gym. Showered. Momentarily forgot I was showing at the gym and let the loudest fart out in the shower that sounded like a cat and walrus playing tug of war with an old rubber horn. That was embarrassing. I try to be more aware of that and at least wait until I’m back in the car… TMI?

Fortunately, nobody said anything. Because “boys locker room.”

Other than that, the day was pretty “normal.”

Until I got an email saying I had a package waiting for me.

I wasn’t expecting a package, but it’s not that unusual that I get unexpected packages, so I swing by after work to pick it up.

Sure enough, I have a package. My last name is spelled wrong. But that happens All. The. Time. It’s been spelled wrong worse before.

And my first name is right.

And the person at the store tells me that I’m the only name remotely close who gets mail there (I have a mailbox for my side hustles and the place knows everyone. They’re rock stars of the package procurement and delivery world. I’m pretty sure there’s a “palooza” celebration every year and they’re the headliners. If not, there should be. Packagepalooza. It has a ring to it.).

Anyhow… I open the package expecting it’s another book or product someone wants me to review here.

In the box, there was… another box.

In that box, there was… a bag.

And in the bag…

Seven. Pure. Gold. Coins!

At first I had no idea that I was holding pure gold. My first thought was that my wife ordered my son some fun, super hero, or whatever coins for his birthday (which is this Friday).

I thought it was odd that she was shipping it to the mailbox, but thought maybe she did it so he wouldn’t see it when the mail came.

Fair enough.

So I ask the guy if he can toss the packing stuff and then went out to my car.

I sat in the car and took a quick look at the packing list to see what she got him.

It said “Description: 1oz Gold American Buffalo Coins .9999 Amount: 9,442.30 Qty: 7.”

“Amount” didn’t even register. And “Gold” and “.9999” didn’t register.

The last thing on my mind was that this was actually gold and worth $9,442.30.

In my mind I was looking at an item number for some fake gold coins from Jake and the Never Land Pirates or something.

But at this point, it was just not adding up.

Just in case, I called the phone number listed for the “recipient” on the form.

“Is Nick there?” I asked.

“You have the wrong number,” the voice on the other line advised.

I tried variations on the number. Different area codes. Inverted numbers. Nothing. No Nick. (I did get a McDonald’s once, which made me hungry. And with $10,000 in pure gold, I could get quite a few McRib sandwiches couldn’t I?)

At this point I knew something was terribly wrong. I had someone else’s gold. I have no idea whose at this point. But I know it’s real. And it’s not mine.

So I called the sender’s number.

Yet I was still holding out hope that it was someone sending me that “pure gold” to review that I requested a few weeks ago when I did the termostat review and giveaway. Alas… that was not the case.

A lovely woman answered the phone, having no idea that she was about to get the call of the day.

A guy. The wrong guy. With almost $10,000 worth of pure gold. That she was supposed to send to someone else.

This is where the story gets interesting.

But since I don’t like writing long posts, and love the art of the tease, you’ll have to wait for the second part of the story.

Plus, if I fast forward to the end, it wouldn’t give me the opportunity to ask you about your most valuable “wrong mail” story. My parents once got a $99 grill sent to their house by mistake. I thought that was pretty bizarre. Until…. [part two – lucky for you, you didn’t find this post right away and get both parts right away!]

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve received in the mail by mistake? Have you ever shipped something worth $10,000? I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I would have hand-walked it over.

And what would you have done in this situation?

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tammy Fuller June 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

I can’t believe you’re making us wait for the rest of the story. 🙂

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Nick June 4, 2014 at 10:12 am

I know… I’m sorry. I hate it too. But the story was too good to crunch into one too-long post! It’s worth the wait. Trust me!

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Darlene June 4, 2014 at 9:57 am

Nope. Not ever once did I get anything shipped to me worth $10k on accident…or on purpose, for that matter. I would be so tempted to keep it, but I wouldn’t. I’d probably do everything you’re doing while secretly hope that in the end I get to keep it! Haha.

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Nick June 4, 2014 at 10:14 am

Ha! That sounds about right. I secretly hoped that it would turn out that some rich person thought it would be funny and worth it to send me that much gold in response to my joke in the review post and when I finally got in touch with her she’d say: “That was because I like your blog so much. Sorry I butchered your name.” 🙂

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Dayna June 4, 2014 at 10:58 am

Once my mom ordered a stroller off a baby registry from target and they sent her a crib and a stroller by mistake. We called and they told us to keep the crib and donate it to someone in need! It was cool!

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Nick June 4, 2014 at 11:36 am

Wow! That’s very cool!

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Anne June 4, 2014 at 11:22 am

The closest I’ve ever come to this was some interesting wrong phone numbers but, even then, no gold was involved! Oh, and our dog came inside one day carrying a check intended to pay someone’s college tuition. I called the party listed on the check who was both greatly relieved and very unhappy with her daughter.

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Nick June 4, 2014 at 11:38 am

Wait… you have a DOG that can fetch MONEY?!?! I need to get me one of those! 😉

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Rachael T Mickel June 4, 2014 at 11:35 am

I got someone’s bra order once. That was an awkward phone call.

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Nick June 4, 2014 at 11:37 am

Ha! I can imagine…

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Kristin @ payment free life June 4, 2014 at 12:49 pm

You are such a tease. Please don’t make us wait for the rest!

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Sarah June 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

One time QVC sent me a really nice cooks essentials high sided frying pan. I have no idea why, and when I called them to ask about it they said it was an error and I could just keep it. I am still using it today and it is one of my favorite pans. Score!

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Camilla June 4, 2014 at 4:18 pm

I never receive anything fun by mistake. I still get bills and important paperwork that belongs to a business who had my PO box over seven years ago! Finally slowing down so they must have finally decided to finally notify vendors they moved. The best surprise? I used to tell an old boyfriend when I checked the mail: “Still no million dollar check with my name on it, oh well.” One day there was the most beautiful bouquet of flowers with a card saying “Not a million dollars but I hope these will make you smile.”

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Suzie June 5, 2014 at 10:58 am

I’m not sure what the actual monetary value was but I suspect the “usefulness” value was pretty high. I worked for a professional sports team as a receptionist. I was given an average sized padded envelope addressed to Mr. Mugsy. Obviously we didn’t have anyone working for us by that name that I was aware of. I opened it up. Inside was a small sealed plastic envelope with a tiny screw in it. There were no instructions just a packing slip. I called the company and asked for sales. I found out they sold audio equipment. I called one of the guys in our audio department and found out that one of the guys in that dept used Mr. Mugsy because his last name was long, hard to pronounce and even harder to spell. Found out it was needed to repair a microphone!

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Kristen June 5, 2014 at 5:03 pm

That is crazy! Of course I would of done everything to find the rightful owner. But I am waiting for a monkey with a backpack to show up at my door, (as my husband says in negative tones.) But I believe, so if those coins showed up in my mail, I may have to question God; “Hello, where’s the monkey?!”

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Poor Student June 6, 2014 at 3:16 am

If I were you, I’d be suspicious on the intention of the sender. What if it’s illegal?! I can get into jail for this… So I guess I’d call the sender to verify it. I’m curious about what happened next!

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