The coins, thousands of them, are a part of the estate of Walter Samazko Jr, the Associated Press reports. In all, the coins are valued at $7.4 million, and Magdanz, a long-lost first cousin of Samaszko, is entitled to all of it.
Officials in Carson City, Nev., had a real challenge when Samaszko died last June. He left behind a modest, ranch-style home that he’d lived in since the 1960s, some personal effects and no family that anyone knew about.
Without a will and with no readily apparent heir, the city arranged for the home to be auctioned and sent a cleaning crew in to clear out the place. That’s when the coins were found, packed in ammunition boxes in the garage.
Officials then got serious about looking for Samaszko’s heirs. They tracked Magdanz down through names in a funeral bulletin from the early 1960s and newspaper clips from the same time frame. Now, with the judge’s ruling, Magdanz inherits Samaszko’s coins.
The coins are from Mexico, Austria, Britain and the U.S. An unofficial count places the number at more than 8,000, some dating to the 1880s.