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Man who bought a painting for $4 at a flea market ended up making $2.4 million

Man who bought a painting for $4 at a flea market ended up making $2.4 million

He only bought it for the picture frame

A man, who might just be the luckiest guy of all time, made $2.4 million after discovering an incredible secret about a painting he bought for $4.

You can pick up some cool bargains at a flea market but you'll probably never beat the guy who bought a cheap painting he didn't even like and made an incredible historical discovery.

The man who bought this incredibly valuable painting hadn't even been interested in the picture itself as he'd just wanted to buy the frame it came in.

When he got home he decided to ditch the torn painting so he could use the frame for something much nicer and that's when he made a monumental discovery.

He found that something had been folded up and hidden in picture frame just behind the painting and was amazed when he unfurled the paper and realised what it was.

The original Declaration of Independence is housed in the National Archives.
Getty/Douglas Sacha

It turns out that Nicolas Cage could have skipped pretty much the entire plot of National Treasure if he'd just gone to the right flea market with $4 in his pocket, as the lucky man found the Declaration of Independence.

Alright, not the actual original document that the Founding Fathers scribbled their signatures upon, but one of the copies of the declaration made on 4 July, 1776, to spread the word that the 13 Colonies were breaking away from Britain.

According to the New York Times, only 24 copies of the Declaration are known to have survived and most of those which remain are kept safely in the collections of museums.

The man realized he was holding a bona fide piece of history in his hands and showed his discovery to auction house Sotheby's.

They'd previously sold a copy of the Declaration of Independence in 1990 for $1,595,000 but the man's flea market discovery went for even more than that.

The Declaration of Independence the man found was printed on 4 July, 1776 to spread the news.
Getty/Douglas Sacha

His $4 flea market purchase of a painting he didn't like because he wanted the picture frame ended up with the Declaration copy being sold off for $2.4 million.

The auction house said it had been 'far and away the highest price for historical Americana ever' as the document had been bought by Donald J. Scheer (thank God it wasn't another Donald J), president of an arts investment firm in Atlanta, Georgia.

While the Declaration of Independence might have gone for a massive price Scheer had claimed that he'd been 'prepared to pay considerably more' to obtain the historical document.

The buyer said: "I think this is a living document and the words are every bit as live today."

Featured Image Credit: Jordi Salas/Getty Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Topics: US News, Weird