Image: Gazette Live/Evening Gazette

When three friends decided to bid for a storage container at auction, they had no idea what it might contain. The rules of the auction house, moreover, prevented them from searching inside. And apparently, no one – not even the auction house – had conducted a proper valuation of its contents.

Image: Darren Moloney

You have to speculate to accumulate, according to the old gambling proverb. But since neither the buyers nor the sellers knew exactly what was being sold, it was near impossible to determine the odds of gaining a profit. In fact, the container might just as easily have incurred a loss.

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