​$100,000 awaits woman who threw away rare Apple 1 computer

A woman dumped a rare Apple 1 at a Silicon Valley recycling company, which sold it for $200,000. Now it wants to give the woman her cut -- if it can find her.


The Apple Computer 1, Apple's first product, was originally released in 1976. Image: Bonhams

An e-waste recycler hopes to find a woman who threw out an Apple 1 computer that has been sold for $200,000.

Recycling company CleanBayArea in Milpitas, California, has written out a $100,000 check for a mystery woman, aged around 60 to 70 years old, who dropped off the rare computer in April without leaving any contact details.

According to the company's website, the woman left "a couple of boxes of e-waste", apparently without realising the value of one item inside it -- an Apple Computer 1 that was buried beneath a bunch of cables and old keyboards.

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The recycling firm said it has sold the computer to a private collector for around $200,000 and now needs to find the woman to give her a 50 percent cut of the sale value.

The Apple 1 was the first run of computers made by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in 1976 and peddled by Steve Jobs for $666.66. With only a few hundred ever made, they've since been sold at auctions from tens of thousands of dollars to nearly $1 million.

"She said that her husband had passed away and that she had decided to clean up their garage," the company said of the woman who donated the Apple 1.

CleanBayArea vice president Victor Gichun told NBC the boxes the woman dropped off were left untouched for a few weeks and that staff were in disbelief when they opened one and saw the rare Apple computer.

"We thought it was fake. It was real... It's not every day someone brings you $100,000," said Gichun.

Gichun said he remembers what the woman looks like, but without contact information they've appealed to the media to find her.

"Tell this lady to come to our warehouse in Milpitas again and we'll give her a $100,000 check," he said.

The most an Apple 1 has ever sold for was $905,000 at an auction at Bonhams last year, far exceeding expectations that it would reach between $300,000 to $500,000. Unlike the machine donated to CleanBayArea, however, that machine was one of 50 that were hand-built by Wozniak for the ByteShop in 1976.

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