Couple Finds 2 Lunch Boxes From 1951 Hidden In Basement Ceiling And Unlock Their Secret Fortunes

by Amy P
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos.

In October 2016, a homeowner posted a series of photos on Imgur with a story so fortuitous it went massively viral.

The author, who goes by the name of “branik12” on Imgur, begins by explaining how he and his family live in a house that was built in the late 1940s.

The 35-year-old “do-it-yourselfer” had remodeled his first and second floors before it came time to remodel the basement.

During the early states of the renovation, he peeled back the basement walls to find some random writings and drawings scribbled on the cinder blocks… nothing too special there.

But then he looked up inside the ceiling — and there wedged in the old slats he found a dusty green lunch box.

He brought the vintage lunchbox outside in the sun and called his wife over so they could open it together.

The contents left them absolutely stunned.

vintage lunch boxes

In October 2016, a homeowner posted a series of photos on Imgur with a story so fortuitous it went massively viral.

“So my family and I have been living in our house we bought some years back,” Imgur user “branik12” wrote. “The house was built in the late 40’s.”

The self-described DIY aficionado had already remodeled the first and second floors, so it was time to redo the basement.

During renovations, he peeled back the walls and discovered some random scribbles.

vintage lunch boxes

Then it was time to remove the basement ceiling, along with the thick layers of dust that had built up over the years.

“We put up plastic to keep the dust out of the rest of the house and exposed then patched the air returns first.”

vintage lunch boxes

But then he stumbled upon an green vintage lunchbox wedged in the ceiling.

He thought it was a cool little trinket from the past and decided to document his findings.

vintage lunch boxes

He brought the box outside and called his wife to come check it out.

They knew there was something inside, but it didn’t feel heavy. Was the box full of old sports cards? Recipes, perhaps?

vintage lunch boxes

The box opened to reveal several packages wrapped in wax paper.

vintage lunch boxes

There was a newspaper lining the bottom dated March 25, 1951.

vintage lunch boxes

Clearly this was cash… and the couple was officially interested in taking a closer look…

vintage lunch boxes

They opened the first bundle and found nothing but twenty dollar bills.

“We are freaking out at this point. This doesn’t happen to us! What do we do? Where are the cameras?”

vintage lunch boxes

“The second package didn’t have any twenties. It was all fifties!

What is going on here? There could be 5 grand here!.

Wait!!!! The third package is 100s!!!! This is out of control!!!”

vintage lunch boxes

“Some of the bills were rarer than others. Some brown notes, a gold certificate and some star notes nearly uncirculated. All bills were from 1928-1934.

What do we do now? Is it ours? What is it worth?

Next was hours of inventory and googling. I decided that we needed to have the special bills appraised and talk to a lawyer about how to proceed. Once the legal stuff was taken care of I decided to continue with the plan to post to Imgur.”

At the time, the couple had been trying hard to pay off their mortgage, so this was a huge and unexpected help.

vintage lunch boxes

One week later, life had returned to normal (all things considered) and the homeowner returned to his basement remodel.

vintage lunch boxes

The second box was twice as heavier than the first!

“My wife was at work when I found this one, so I have to wait for her to get home to open it.”

vintage lunch boxes

Oh… My… Goodness.

Yet another lunchbox full of cash, and this one held nearly all 20s, neatly aligned in a row.

vintage lunch boxes

The total came to roughly $45,000 and was deposited into a bank account. The couple says they spoke with an estate lawyer about the legal aspects who confirmed the money was theirs to keep.

The bills were also double appraised — and about 10 of them were worth nearly four times face value!

Um. Lucky much?!

And to think, the man who discovered the lunchbox fortunes says he doesn’t believe in karma.