The recycling firm is trying to track down the original donator to share 50 percent of the profit

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated May 31, 2015 04:25 PM
Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A California woman is in for the surprise of a lifetime, after a 1976 Apple I computer she unknowingly donated to a recycling firm fetched $200,000 in a private sale, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The electronics recycling firm, Clean Bay Area, in Silicon Valley, is on the hunt for the woman who dropped off the computer along with several boxes of electronics in April.

A few weeks after receiving the donation, the firm discovered the vintage computer, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

“We really couldn’t believe our eyes. We thought it was fake,” Clean Bay Area’s Vice President Victor Gichun told local news station NBC Bay Area.

The firm sold the vintage computer for $200,000 to a private collector, Gichun said.

The woman is in luck, however, because the company’s policy is to split sale proceeds with donors by 50 percent. While the donator, who told the firm her husband had just passed away, refused a receipt and didn’t leave her name, Gichun said he would recognize the woman. The company is asking her to pick up the $100,000 check.

“To prove who she is,” Gichun told the San Jose Mercury News, “I just need to look at her.”

The computer is only one of around 200 of the first-generation desktop computers that were created by the late Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976, according to the newspaper.

“It was the first computer that Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak created in their garage and it was sort of this breakthrough in personal computing,” Indiana University Computer Science Professor David Crandall told NBC Bay Area.