Dick Hanscom forwarded this article from the Daily Mail about the numismatic payoff from a long-ago bet. Great story. Thanks!
A bet on two raindrops on a window pane that was made 123 years ago has now netted the family of the winner almost £65,000.
The wager was made between an aristocrat and his friend during a rainy day at a Dorset stately home in 1890.
The two men bet £5 on which one of two drops would reach the bottom of the window first.
Bitter at losing, the disgruntled friend marched straight to the bank to withdraw the money owed in the lowest denomination possible at the time - 4,800 farthings.
But now the descendants of the winner have had the last laugh after the existing 2,794 farthings, dated 1890 and still in mint condition, sold at auction for £63,440.
The cache of unused bronze coins, wrapped in tissue paper, represents two pounds, 18 shillings, one penny and two farthings - the equivalent of £220 today.
The huge sale price means each coin is worth almost £23, around 22,000 times its original value.
Experts had tipped the collection to fetch £14,000, but were astounded when it sold for more than four times the amount to a UK coin collector.
The coins had been stored in boxes at Crichel House, near Wimborne, Dorset, home of the Alington family and where the original bet was made.
The picturesque 18th century manor house was featured in the 1996 film Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
Daniel Fearon, a coin expert who valued the collection, added: 'Every now and then odd things crop up and this collection was one of them.
'The best way to describe the coins was 'extraordinary cache'.
To read the complete article, see:
Playing the long game: Bet on raindrops at stately home that was paid in 5,000 farthings 123 years ago bears fruit for descendants when coins are sold for £65,000
Wayne Homren, Editor
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