Man obtains huge profit from selling rare copy of Declaration of Independence

A rare 1823 copy of the Declaration of Independence sold at auction for $477,650 (EUR 357,763) by a man who found it last year in a Nashville thrift store for $2.48 (EUR 1.86).

Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, sold the document Thursday at Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions in Burlington, North Carolina.

Six bidders contended for the document, most by phone or Internet, when bidding opened at $125,000 (EUR 93,625). The identity of the winner was not disclosed.

Sparks found his bargain last March while browsing at Music City Thrift Shop. When he asked the price on a yellowed, shellacked, rolled-up document, the clerk marked it at $2.48 plus tax.

The document turned out to be an "official copy" of the Declaration of Independence - one of 200 commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820 when he was secretary of state and printed by William Stone in 1823.

Sparks said he had a few plans for the money: a used car, adding a sun room to his house, helping to support his parents and giving some to charity, the AP said.

"You think it is a huge fortune, but by the time you figure it up and put some off for the taxes it is not. It is not a huge fortune, but more like a small fortune," he said.

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