A French man who inherited a house in Normandy from a dead relative has stumbled upon 220 pounds (100 kg) gold coins and bars squirrelled away in hiding places throughout his new place, which are worth about $3.7 million.
“There were 5,000 gold pieces, two bars of 12 kilos and 37 ingots of 1 kilo,” Nicolas Fierfort, a local auctioneer, told AFP.
Fierfort said he had visited the house in Evreux, Normandy, to value furniture the new owner was selling, adding that he never noticed the gold because it was “extremely well hidden”.
The unnamed lucky individual made the incredible discovery when he moving things around.
First, he found a metal box of coins screwed to the underside of some furniture. Then came more, carefully hidden in a box meant for a bottle of whisky.
As if that was not enough, the man then unearthed a staggering pile of gold bars and ingots.
“At that point he called his solicitor to make an inventory,” Fierfort said.
According to certificates found in the deceased’s estate, the gold was legally purchased in the 1950s and 1960s.
It has already been sold on to buyers in France and overseas.
However, local newspaper La Depeche, which first reported the story, said not all is good news for the lucky finder. He’ll be liable for 45% inheritance tax and, if the original owner did not declare his or her assets, a further three years of back taxes.
This is not the first time hidden gold has been found in a property in this area of Normandy.
In 2011, three builders struck gold, finding almost a million euros’ worth of ingots and coins buried in the back garden of a house where they had been working on an extension.