‘Storage Wars’: Dan Dotson Once Sold a Locker Worth Millions for Just $500

by Taylor Cunningham

Storage Wars auctioneer Dan Dotson once held the keys to a storage unit worth millions. And he sold it for the low low price of $500.

Dotson didn’t make the soul-crushing traction while filming his A&E series though. Instead, he gave it to a bidder while running his American Auctioneers business with his wife Laura.

As he told NPR in 2018, the man who purchased the locker found a safe inside. And when he opened said safe, there was $7.5 million in cash in it.

Apparently, the previous owner forgot to pay their rental fees, despite the fact that they used the locker to hide a literal fortune. But luckily for them, Dotson sold the unit to the world’s most generous person.

When the former owners realized what had happened, they asked the buyer to return the majority of the cash. Technically, everything inside was his, and he could have ignored the request and bought an island somewhere instead. But the fortunate bidder agreed to give most of the money back.

In the end, he kept $1.2 million of the stash, which is still a handsome return on $500.

One day we hope those mysterious owners come forward and tell the world more about their bizarre decision to leave all that money in a storage unit instead of a bank—and then forget about it. Because after hearing the story, we have so many questions.

Here’s What Dan Dotson Considers His Biggest ‘Storage Wars’ Auction Score

Dan Dotson once made a $25, 925 return on a storage locker. And he considers the purchase his best score yet.

As Dan and his wife told Monsters & Critics earlier this year, “back in 1989” they went to an auction and bought a random unit for $75. And when they started searching through the contents, they found five rare 1883-O marks coins inside that ended up selling for $26,000.

“[The coins] were between two pieces of glass separated by the old electrical metal tape,” he shared. “And a Sears catalog cover was all cut out and they were all put in there. They were just a beautiful set of coins.”

Dan and Laura admitted that they “had no idea” that the treasures were so valuable. And if it weren’t for Dan’s mom, they may never have thought to sell them.

But because they did, they were able to fund their business long enough to get more cash flowing and eventually become stars on Storage Wars.

“So, at the time we ran an auction house in Southern California that was just on a shoestring budget. I actually bought a unit and I scored, and that kept us in business there for over a decade,” Dan continued. “So, you really never know what you’re going to find.”