An NES game donated to goodwill just sold for $ 411,278

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When The Legend of Zelda first hit shelves for the original NES in 1986, it sold for $ 49.99. Most people bought it, tore open the package, and started a classic adventure that would spawn one of the gaming industry’s most popular franchises. Someone in Connecticut, apparently bought a copyHe forgot about it for 35 years and then donated it to local goodwill. And the chain of thrift stores just sold that copy on their website for $ 411,278.

Yes, that’s a shockingly high price, but nowhere near the highest for a classic game. Goodwill’s copy of The Legend of Zelda is just the latest in a growing list of retro titles that are selling at high auction prices. In April a sealed, Collector-approved copy of the original Super Mario Bros.. sold at auction for $ 660,000. In July, a rare early version of The Legend of Zelda grossed $ 870,000. Later a sealed copy of Super Mario 64 broke records with a staggering $ 1.56 million sale.

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These games all achieved their record-breaking retail prices by being factory sealed and rated highly by Wata Games, a video game ratings organization. Goodwill’s factory-sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda is already a rare collector’s item, but if the buyer chooses to rate the game using WATA, as they did with the other high sales, its value could rise overnight.

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How the non-profit thrift store chain ended up with such a rare game, however, baffles the mind. Goodwill stores get their inventory primarily through goodwill donation centers, which means that most likely someone just gave away this sealed game classic as a gift. Was it an ignorant parent who tidied a child’s room after moving out? A property sale where leftover items are cleared out without knowing their value? We’ll probably never know for sure.

Goodwill didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but Action Network says the nonprofit plans to use the proceeds to open a career center in Stamford Connecticut.

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