Last Thursday, the couple's copy received a 5.0 VG(Very Good)/Fine rating on a scale of 1 to 10. It could fetch upwards of $250,000 when it goes up for auction on ComicConnect.com from Aug. 27 through Sept. 17.
While many businesses have been hurt by the recession, the comic book collection industry has received a boost. It all started in the spring of 2009, in the bleakest days of current downturn, when ComicConnect sold a copy of Action Comics No. 1 for $317,200 – a record at the time.
"That was at the worst part of the recession," Zurzolo said. "All the publicity we got on that was incredible…From all this publicity people started looking around and they started finding things."
There are about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 believed to be in existence, with only a handful in good condition. In the last year and a half, about 7 copies have turned up.
"You never know," Zurzolo said. "You might have a hidden treasure in your home which can change your life."
Zurzolo said more and more investors are calling ComicConnect looking for ways to make their money grow. One recent caller wanted to invest half a million dollars that he said were sitting in a bank account. "This happens to be the best year we've ever had," he said.
The copies of Action Comic No. 1 that sold for $1 million and $1.5 million earlier this year had been purchased for about $140,000 each more than a decade ago.
"When you tell people they might have more than a million bucks somewhere, it makes people move around and check places," he said. "In terms of the prices we've been able to realize, I do think that ties directly to the economy. You're dealing with a time in history when people are very uncertain about the stock market. They are extremely wary of the real estate market. They're making absolutely no money in their bank accounts."
After discovering their small treasures, many people want to remain anonymous – like many lottery winners. "People don't want people knowing how much money they have," Zurzolo said. "Some people are very paranoid."