A California substitute teacher will inherit over $7 million in gold coins found in her recluse cousin’s home after his death.
A Carson City, Nev., judge ruled Tuesday that Arlene Magdanz was Walter Samasko, Jr.’s only cousin and therefore entitled to his fortune, according to the Associated Press.
Samasko, 69, died in May due to heart problems and was not discovered until June when neighbors complained of an odor coming from his house.
When authorities went to clean out his Carson City home, they found boxes of gold coins in his home and garage.
“He was quite a hoarder. He had boxes and boxes and boxes of things,” Carson City Clerk Alan Grover told ABCNews.com in September. Grover said there were many containers of food and cans.
Grover said the coins were in boxes marked “books.” There were also coins wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in ammunition boxes. There were Mexican, British and Austrian coins dating as far back as the 1870s.
There was so much gold that Grover used a wheelbarrow to carry the fortune to his truck. The coins were first moved to a bank vault and later moved to armored vehicles.
Samasko had no will and no immediate relatives. He was cremated and the remains were flown to Chicago to join his mother who died in 1992.
Using the funeral attendance list from Samasko’s mother’s funeral, Grover tracked down Magdanz, Samasko’s first cousin in San Rafael, Calif.
Magdanz could not be reached for comment.
Samasko had only $200 in the bank at the time of his death, according to the Las Vegas Sun, but had stock accounts totaling in $165,000 and had been living off of his investments.
Grover said one of his first thoughts upon seeing the thousands of coins was, “What was a guy like this doing with his kind of money in just a regular house?”
He described the house as a small, 1970s three-bedroom home of about 1,200 square feet with orange shag carpeting.
“There were no antiques, no crystal or family jewelry or anything like that,” Grover said. “You would never have suspected the guy would have that much…he certainly didn’t live that way.”