A small business owner makes bank while one of Apple’s original three founders gets screwed. Again.

During an auction at Sotheby’s in New York, Apple’s original three-page founding documents sold for a whopping $1,594,500.00 after being estimated by the auction house to bring only $150,000. According to Sotheby’s, there were five bidders vying for the purchase, ending in a 1.35 million winning bid. A 12% buyer’s premium added at point of sale took the total to the final monster it was.

Prior to its most recent sale, the document actually has a fairly interesting history. The three names signed across the bottom are Apple’s initial founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Each of them penned their signatures to it on April Fool’s Day, 1976. Eleven days after the three men signed the contract, Wayne backed out, fearing he was going to lose a lot of money by investing in the company. His buy out was $2,300 (feel free to insert your schadenfreude snickers and/or raucous guffaws anytime now). Eventually, Wayne took his copy of the initial contract (the one that just went to auction) and sold it to Wade Saadi, the founder of an IT recruitment company called Pencom Systems for a measly “few thousand dollars.” Saadi remained in possession of the contract until the aforementioned auction earlier this week, and Ronald Wayne, poor sod, missed the boat on yet another fortune when it resold for 1.59 million.

If you ever had anything to do with Steve Jobs or Apple on any level, now’s probably the time to dig up the evidence. With Jobs’ death still fresh on people’s minds, and his official biography doing well in stores, anything Apple-related is soaring in value. So, if you have an uncle who kept his credit card receipt from that one time he cut Jobs’ hair in the eighties, now’s the time to help him set up an eBay account.

Regardless, if you happen to see Ronald Wayne moping around the streets of Cupertino one morning, give that poor bastard a hug.


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