Second Auction of Nevada Recluse’s Gold Coins Yields Nearly $3.2 Million
(CARSON CITY, Nev.) -- The cousin of a dead Nevada recluse who amassed -- and squirreled away -- a fortune in gold bullion and coins is set to inherit millions of dollars after the final haul of his treasure was sold Tuesday at an auction in Carson City, Nev.
More than 2,600 gold and silver coins, divided into six lots, were auctioned Tuesday at the Carson City courthouse,and brought in a total of $3,192,400, Carson City Clerk Alan Glover told ABC News. Earlier on Tuesday, Glover had estimated the treasure trove would bring in $3 million.
The coins belonged to Walter Samaszko Jr., 69, who died in May of heart problems. His death was not uncovered until June, when neighbors complained of a bad smell coming from the house of the man they considered a poor recluse. When authorities went to clean out Samaszko's house, they found boxes of gold coins and bullion inside the home and in the garage, Glover said.
The first part of Glover's treasure, mainly gold bullion, was auctioned in February for $3.5 million.
Samaszko had no will and no immediate relatives. He was cremated and his remains were flown to Chicago, where his mother, who died in 1992, is buried.
Using the funeral attendance list from Samaszko's mother's funeral, Glover tracked down Arlene Magdanz, Samaszko's first cousin in San Rafael, Calif., who is set to inherit any profits from the sale.
Glover said Magdanz is "overwhelmed" by the attention she has received and has chosen to stay out of the spotlight.
"It's like winning the lottery," Glover said. "It changed her whole life."
Samaszko lived modestly in a small, 1970s three-bedroom home of about 1,200 square feet with orange shag carpeting, Glover said.
"There were no antiques, no crystal or family jewelry or anything like that," he said. "You would never have suspected the guy would have that much. ... He certainly didn't live that way."
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio