When this couple discovered a hidden suitcase from the 1950s they realized they had just won big


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to win the lottery? Or maybe as a kid you always dreamed about finding a pirate’s hidden treasure. It’s the ultimate fantasy to think about what you’d do with all that money, but what if it actually happened? When this couple set out to renovate their older home they never would have guessed that there were treasures hidden inside, but once they discovered what they were they knew they had really won big.

A simple renovation

As any homeowner knows, over time there will always eventually be repairs that you need to do on your home.

However, if you purchase a home that is most certainly an older structure and building, those repairs are usually a bit more extensive and can turn into a full on renovation. This couple in Cleveland, Ohio had embarked on a simple renovation for their house built in the 1940s, but things didn’t quite go as planned.

The discovery a lifetime

Some say you should always expect the unexpected, and that’s certainly something that this Ohio couple has learned first hand.

When Reddit user branik12 decided to renovate his home he thought it would be a pretty straight forward job. Little did he know that behind the walls of his home there were secrets hidden away. But one day all of those secrets came out when he discovered a secret suitcase from the 1950s hidden in his home.

Starting a DIY project

When most people set out to renovate their home they higher contractors and professionals who fix homes for a living. However, this Reddit user felt that he could handle things on his own.

At age 35 he felt that he was in good condition and could figure it all out. So, he made the house his DIY (do it yourself) project, and slowly but surely spent a few years working his way through the house.

Working on the basement

After they had already been living and working on the house for about two years, branik12 had finally made it to the basement.

He noticed some graffiti on the walls that he wanted to fix, but decided aging ceiling would have to be his top priority. So, he grabbed his tools and set out to tear down the ceiling by hand, but this ended up being a much more daunting task then he had thought it would be.

Crashing down

As he worked on the basement’s ceiling, pieces of it began to come crashing down one by one to the ground. He was going to have to tear most of it down in order to improve it and bring it up to modern standards.

He soon had more room to maneuver around in the ceiling and figure out how best to proceed with its renovation. It was then that noticed something that didn’t look like it belonged in a ceiling.

A startling discovery

As the man looked closer he realized that there was something like a suitcase hidden inside in his basement ceiling. Someone had wedged it in between the rafters, between the subfloor above and the dropped ceiling.

He could tell just from a glance that it looked like an older style suitcase or box, with green on the top and bottom and a grey metal looking middle. He was shocked to see it there, and couldn’t help but wonder how it had wound up there.

Calling the wife

Branik12 decided that the discovery of this mysteriously large metal box was definitely worth taking a break for, so the home repairs for the day came to halt. He was hoping that maybe there would be something fun or exciting inside the suitcase, but it wasn’t something he wanted to experience by himself.

So, he called up his wife and told her she had to get home as quickly as possible, because they had to open up the box together. She couldn’t wait to see what he found, and quickly hurried home.

Taking a peek inside

The couple huddled around the box and took out their camera to document the entire discovery, with the intention of sharing it with some friends and family later on.

They cut the string off that had surrounded the box, and slowly began to open the top. Inside they saw a few packages wrapped up in what appeared to be wax paper, and at the bottom the box was lined with newspaper that had probably been intended to protect the packages. The paper was from 1951.

Opening the first package

Realizing that this had probably been hidden for over 60 years, they eagerly began to unwrap the first package. Inside they found a large stack of $20 bills, and it became clear that there was going to be a lot of money inside this metal suitcase.

The couple could scarcely believe what was happening and began to freak out. They later joked that they felt like they should be looking for hidden cameras in their home because things like this just don’t happen to them normally.



The other packages


They excitedly moved on to the other two packages and couldn’t wait to discover how much more money their must be inside. As they opened up the second package they became overwhelmed.

This one didn’t have twenties inside, it had fifties! They were then even further blown away when they opened the third and final package to find an enormous stack of $100 bills. Even before counting it all out they could tell there must thousands of dollars in this box.

Rare bills

Knowing that this box of money was at least 60 years old they began to take a closer look at the bills themselves. When they did they realized that some of them might be worth even more than they had originally been created for.

A few of them were very rare including some star notes that have nearly been uncirculated, some brown notes, and even a gold certificate. As far as they could tell all of the bills were created between 1928-1934, which could make them very valuable to some collectors.

Seeking guidance

The couple soon began to realize that all of this was way beyond their area of expertise. They checked over the newspaper inside for any clues as to who the money might belong to, which could affect the legality of keeping it.

It looked like just a normal newspaper, but they realized they should probably talk to a lawyer just to be safe, and to get their rare bills appraised. After everything was said and done, not only were they allowed to keep the cash, but it added up to $23,000!

What to do with the money?

To branik12 and his wife finding this $23,000 felt just like they had won the lottery. They were so excited and couldn’t believe something like this had happened to ordinary folks like them.

The big question was what would they spend the money on? An exotic vacation? A big purchase? While there were plenty of tempting options, they shared on Reddit that they were going to be responsible with it. Most of their funds had been going towards paying off their mortgage, so that’s what this money would be used for too.

The saga continues

Little did they know that there were still many more surprised to be found within their old home. A week later, once the excitement had died down, branik12 went back to work on the basement ceiling. As he was working he suddenly stopped in shock.

There was another box in the ceiling! And it looked to be almost identical to the first one. He called his wife to get back home and then quickly looked through the rest of the ceiling to make sure there weren’t any other boxes he missed.

The second box

Once again they excitedly opened up the second box to discover what was inside. After what had happened with the first one they were pretty optimistic that something good awaited them inside.

As they opened it up they noticed it was also lined with newspapers, from 1951 just like in the first one. There was also lots of cash, just like in the first one, however instead of being wrapped up in packages it seemed to have been neatly organized.

More and more money

The couple was in complete and total shock staring at all the money before them. This one mostly contained twenties, instead of the fifties and one hundreds from the other box, but it was still clearly a lot of money.

They found more rare bills and new they had to go back to the experts to get it all appraised. The grand total after everything? Around $45,000, which they promptly put in their bank account for safe keeping.

More surprises instore

But the surprises weren’t done yet! As they began to explore more of their house, they became curious about a white door that they had never opened.

Their realtor had told them it was a way to get to their hot water heater, however when they opened it they realize that definitely wasn’t the case. Lurking behind the wall of this mysterious little door was an entire secret room! And on the other side of the room was another door that they had known nothing about.

A mystery

As branik12 crossed the room to this other door he realized it was heavily locked and would be difficult to open. After a bit of work he managed to get the door open, but what he saw inside was a bit perplexing.

He found that the room had been completely covered with heavy soundproofing material, as well as plastic tarps. What’s more, there was yet another locked door to get through. Behind that one he found a leather briefcase and a safe.

Treasure inside

The man and his wife decided to open up the briefcase to see what they might find inside. While it didn’t contain cash like the other boxes had, they still found quite an interesting treasure trove inside.

The briefcase held an assortment of antique jewelry, rings, watches, silver ingots, envelopes containing cash from foreign countries, and an antique wooden box. It would seem that these had once been someone’s prized possessions, and could still be quite valuable.

The sinister safe

Last, but not least, the couple had to see what was inside the mysterious safe in the room. However, this item had far more sinister contents. At first, they came across a note that read “Save yourself” in big black ink, which was deeply concerning.

Then they found another note taped on that said “Do not.” However, no explanation was offered because all that was in the safe was a large amount of old videotapes. This was very different from what their other discoveries had led to.

Contacting the authorities

The couple opted not to share what they had seen when they checked out some of the video tapes, but whatever it was had them deeply disturbed. They decided they needed to contact the authorities straight away, and the next thing they knew the FBI had showed up at their door.

The FBI immediately took the tapes off their hands, and have since launched a full on investigation into the matter. This was certainly not what the couple had expected to happen in their home.

Life changing

While we don’t know what has become the FBI investigation, or what was on those tapes, we can only hope the case was resolved. Despite the way their discoveries ended, this couple was still very thankful for the over all experience of it all.

Finding all of that money, and the journey through every surprise, was completely life changing for them. Thanks to those funds they were able to finish paying off their mortgage, and have nearly finished their renovations. But, thankfully, there no more big surprises!