Walt Disney once said there’s more treasure in books than in all the pirates loot on treasure island. And this proves it.
At a secondhand bookstore in Oklahoma City, self-proclaimed bookworm Kevin King picked up a copy of Norman Rockwell’s America, expecting to find literary and artistic treasures inside. Instead he found another kind of treasure.
“While I was paging it, I looked and there was this savings bond in it. And I thought oh my gosh this is fully matured. So my son was with me and I went and found him and said I just found $10,000 in a book and the color left his face,” King said.
So King started his own detective story.
“I thought there’s no way. The government ain’t keeping this. Maybe this guy doesn’t even know he’s got this.”
King researched the names on the bond and found the purchaser Oma McClain had died. But the other name on the bond Joe Tober was apparently alive.
“Had his name listed and I said here’s the guy. And I started following the trail. Took a while and finally figured out where he’s hiding out,” King said.
It turns out Mrs. McClain bought the bond 30-years ago, apparently put it in the book for safe keeping, but then died in 2002. Her things were cleaned out of her home. No one knows where the book has been for the past 18-years but the bond inside fully matured.
“This thing is worth $19,932 dollars. And it’s been in this book what, 18 years? It’s insane man,” King said, smiling as he handed the bond over to Tober.
The cash couldn’t have gone to a nicer guy. Tober has his own story.
“I was homeless for a few years and I’d always worked with the homeless but that’s when I got really serious about it because I saw so much suffering that I knew I had to at least contribute something,” Tober said.
He works with the homeless and although he doesn’t have much money, he plans to donate most of the windfall to the homeless.
And out of this story of good fortune springs a new friendship; the most priceless treasure of all.
“He’s a hero. He really is. Truly a hero,” King said.