Allen man's big gamble on storage unit pays off

Allen man's big gamble pays off

What you'll find in the Hairston home is an acquired taste, truly. From the frame that encases their family pictures to the tribal masks on the walls.

"It's somebody else's stuff," said Jacqui Hairston. "It's like you're moving into a different house every month."

This month was a reminder that some gambles pay off. If you ask Alan Hairston he'll tell you he's a treasure hunter, not a gambler. He and his wife have been treasure hunting for three years. In the last 6 months Alan has been doing it full time. Three weeks ago came their most valuable treasure find.

"It was the first unit of the day and I knew I wanted it," he said.

He went to an auction for old storage units in Plano. Alan and his wife Jacqui had only budgeted $400 for that auction. It would take $330 bid to get the contents of one particular storage bin.

The haul was hundreds of issues of Sports Illustrated magazines dating back to 1953 including some bonus material.

"Seen 'em but never really paid attention to them," Alan said about his prior knowledge of Sports Illustrated. Some of the earliest issues retail for 35 cents.

Now this entire batch appraises for $50,000 to $100,000. That kind of money has Alan thinking vacations and Jacqui car payments and bills.

But the Hairstons are most excited about the hundreds of tapes that were also in the storage bin. On those tapes are names iconic to their respective sport. Names like Mohammad Ali, Nolan Ryan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
"It still hasn't really hit us yet," Alan said.

Alan believes they are interviews done by Sports Illustrated. They are preserved on quarter inch reel to reel tape.

The family is going through Heritage Auctions to help facilitate appraisal of the materials.
"It's just unreal," said Jacqui.

The tapes have not been appraised yet. All of this sports treasure will very soon leave their living room because there's always the next hunt set for next week.

"We'll be there...a little bit higher of a budget next week," they laughed.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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