If you’ve ever watched episodes of Storage Wars, you’re probably familiar with Dan Dotson. This auctioneer loves finding intriguing things inside the most obscure storage units. However, nothing could prepare him for his most epic discovery yet…
The King Of Storage Wars
While he has been something of a legend in the world of auctioneering over the last few decades, there is no denying that Storage Wars took Dan Dotson’s reputation to a whole new level. The auctioneer has been part of the hit series since day one. Over the last decade, Dotson thinks he’s seen it all, opening some incredible storage units and auctioning off some incredible finds. However, the most recent development might be the most exciting yet…
Introducing Dan Dotson
In order to understand the significance of this story and what it means to Dan Dotson, we need to understand who he is and his part to play in the story. It’s safe to say that Dotson isn’t your average guy. For the good part of five decades, Dan has been heavily involved in the auctioneering industry and in more recent times, he has run American Auctioneers with his wife, Laura. However, something else has turned him into something of a superstar…
Started Out With A Charity Event
Dan Dotson heard the remarkable story when he was attending the Cars, Stars and Rock N’ Roll charity event in Indio, California. The Storage Wars host was minding his own business when all of a sudden, he noticed a woman was looking at him from the other side of the room. Eventually, he locked eyes with the woman and she approached him. What she would end up telling him completely shook him to his core…
She Told Him A Remarkable Story
In a video that he posted on Twitter, Dan Dotson paraphrased the story that this woman had told him at the charity event in Indio, California. “An older Asian woman at the table next to me kept looking at me like she wanted to tell me something,” he said. “[She said that] ‘My husband works for a guy and he bought a unit from you for $500 and it had a safe in it.'”. However, that was just the start…
Back In The Day
It seems like auctioneering has been running through Dan Dotson’s veins from the very beginning. Having watched his grandfather work as a farm auctioneer back in the 70s, young Dan Dotson developed a passion for this vocation from a very early age. At just 11 years of age, Dotson learned the art of auctioneering from his grandad during the summers and with time, he was so immersed in the culture that he would compromise his own education, selling furniture for auctioneer Merl Bernard.
Start Of An Empire
If the 70s was the decade that Dan Dotson developed a passion for auctioneering, then the 80s was the decade that he mastered the art of it. In 1983, Dotson was inspired to start his very own auctioneering company and launch his beloved American Auctioneers. However, that wasn’t all that Dotson spent his time doing while coming up in the industry. In the years to come, the auctioneer would run auction houses and sell everything from porcelain dolls and pottery to furniture.
Although it has specialized in different things over the years, American Auctioneers has stayed true to Dotson’s vision ever since its inception in 1983. These days, Dan’s company focuses intensely on estates, equipment, storage units, and business inventories. It also helps organize fundraisers and appraisals. For the last few decades, the company has averaged about a dozen auctions per week. However, there is no doubt in Dotson’s mind that none of this would’ve been possible without someone close to his heart…
Laura Used To Run Restaurants
It seems like Dan and Laura Dotson have always been attached at the hip. However, there was a time when they were doing their own thing. Before meeting Dan, Laura was running restaurants and loved nothing more than bringing people together and providing them with top quality food. In fact, Laura was hoping to open a restaurant that made the best pizza in town. So, in 1993, when she was opening up a new restaurant, she went looking for some pizza-making equipment…
When Dan Met Laura
It turns out that this was the moment that the two lovebirds met each other. Laura laid her eyes on Dan when he was selling a restaurant and its contents. While Laura believes that Dan was simply trying to get her attention so he could sell things to her, Dan claims that he was actually trying to flirt with her. At any rate, his passion for auctioneering rubbed off on Laura and before they knew it, they were inseparable.
What many casual fans don’t realize about Dan Dotson is that up until a decade ago, he wasn’t that famous. It was only when Laura realized that her husband was a charismatic auctioneer that she advised him to record his antics on video. Eventually, Dan set up a YouTube channel and began posting videos of himself at his auctioneering best. One day, TV producer Thom Beers appeared at one of Dan’s auctions and just like that, they started to make a reality show…
Although Dan and Laura Dotson’s careers got better with time, they did suffer a challenging moment back in 2014. In the early hours of a Summer morning, Dan woke up asking “weird questions” while asleep. Then, when he woke up a few hours later, Dan fell to the ground and was rushed to the hospital. It turns out that Dotson had suffered a double aneurysm. Amazingly, after Laura performed CPR on her husband and he underwent surgery, Dotson was on the road to recovery.
Not The Same Without Him
Over the next decade, Storage Wars became one of the most popular reality shows on TV and caught the attention of millions of viewers. While the show has developed a reputation for being extremely divisive, most agree that the show simply wouldn’t be the same without Dan Dotson and his wife Laura. In 2015, Examiner.com wrote the following about Dan’s importance to Storage Wars: “Thom Beers came up with the idea for Storage Wars, but said that Dan and Laura Dotson inspired it.”
The Craziest Discovery Of His Career
A woman recently approached Dan Dotson and told the Storage Wars star that a friend of hers had bought a storage unit from him for just $500. But what he found in it was beyond his or Dotson’s wildest dreams…
Originally Purchased For $500
This brings us back to that defining encounter that Dan Dotson had with the woman at the charity event. As previously mentioned, the Storage Wars star had auctioned off a storage unit to someone for a cool $500. However, it turns out that the sale would end up coming back to haunt the auctioneer. Why though? Dotson soon realized that he had overlooked something inside the storage unit, something that would completely turn this story on its head…
They Found A Safe
In the Twitter video, Dan Dotson revealed what the woman had gone on to tell him about the mysterious contents of the storage unit in question. According to her, her husband’s friend had purchased the unit and after looking through its contents, he discovered a mysterious safe. Determined to find out what was inside, they tried opening it themselves, but to no avail. As a result, they decided to contact a professional to help them open it.
They Couldn’t Open It Either
The woman told Dotson that the man in question had contacted a professional. Knowing that they couldn’t do it themselves, they brought the professional to the storage unit and asked them to open the mysterious safe. However, after spending a good amount of time on it, they simply couldn’t get it open. “The first person they called to open the safe, I guess, couldn’t, or didn’t,” Dotson said. But they weren’t going to give up. “So they called a second person…”
They Finally Opened It
The man in question firmly believed that all he needed was the right person who knew what they were doing with a safe. After contacting a second person, the professional spent a good amount of time on it before finally opening the safe’s door! “They called a second person and when that person opened it up,” he said. However, Dotson couldn’t believe what was apparently inside it. “Inside the safe, they’re normally empty, but this time it wasn’t empty…”
No, the safe definitely wasn’t empty. In fact, when the woman began to reveal the contents of this safe, it seemed like Dan Dotson’s entire life flashed before his eyes. As she said the words “$7.5 million,” Dotson had to ask her to repeat herself to make sure that he heard her right. That’s right folks; the man had discovered $7.5 million inside a storage unit that he had bought from Storage Wars‘ Dan Dotson for just $500. Talk about a return on investment!
He Was Lost For Words
Naturally, Dotson was completely overwhelmed by the information the woman had presented to him. Never in his many years of auctioneering had he ever stepped foot inside a storage unit and come across so much money. And when the moment finally presented itself, he had overlooked the money completely. He was somewhat distraught by the news. Posting photos on Facebook of the find, the site of the cast in their many stacks of cash was like something out of a gangster movie…
Movie characters like Tony Montana and Don Corleone would have been proud of the photos Dotson posted on his Facebook account. After getting in touch with the anonymous buyer of his storage unit, Dotson revealed to the public that the person had unearthed stacks upon stacks of cash. Displaying the cash in wrapping paper before placing it on top of his bathtub, the photos were absolutely stunning. But how did $7.5 million end up in a random storage unit?
How Did It Get There?
In their video, Dan Dotson and his wife Laura tried to work out why exactly this would have happened. “I don’t think you would forget that you have $7.5 million inside a unit,” he said. Laura Dotson also had a couple theories as to why it might have ended up there. “Credit card went bad, it was finished, they moved away, perhaps the person went to jail. Who knows what it was it?” she said. The signs all seemed to point to one thing…
It wasn’t just Dan and Laura who had interesting thoughts on how the cash got into that storage unit. Rene Nezhoda, a thrift store owner who has also worked on Storage Wars, is convinced that the money is the result of some sort of illicit activity. “If you find money like that, there’s probably a reason it isn’t in the bank,” he said. However, Dan and the other people involved could only work with the information in front of them…
Previous Owner Got In Touch
It turns out that the previous owner of the storage unit, as well as the $7.5 million inside the safe, had found out that it was now legally in the hands of someone else. As soon as they learned about this, they got in touch with their attorney, with the intention of getting their money back. They were ready to negotiate with the current owner to settle on some sort of deal. But what exactly were they offering for the money?
Here Comes The Offer
It seemed peculiar for one party to offer money in return for another sum of money. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what the original owner did. They offered the current owner of the money $600,000 in exchange. At this stage, the current owner wasn’t exactly thrilled that the previous owner of the $7.5 million had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. This begged the question: would the current owner accept this offer? And if not, where would they go from here?
The new owner declined the offer. Furthermore, one speaker on a podcast Second Shot commented that the current owner was well within their rights to do so. In fact, they believed it was fair game that the $7.5 million was in new hands. According to them, if you stumble across someone’s lost wallet, you are obligated to return it. But this was very different. The previous owner hadn’t lost the money – they had failed to pay the rent for the storage unit.
After conferring with their attorney, the previous owner decided to return with a second offer. This time though, they were prepared to double the offer. Instead of $600,000, they offered a whopping $1.2 million instead. This meant that the current owner would keep that amount and give back the remaining $6.3 million. While the pair sat down and thought through the negotiations, someone else also had thoughts to share on the matter. Dan Dotson also thought about what he would do in that situation, and so did his wife Laura…
What Would Dan Do?
As Dan and his wife Laura tried to put themselves in the current owner’s shoes, they considered what they would do in this situation. When asked if he would take the $1.2 million or not, Dan Dotson ultimately claimed that he would say yes to the deal. This is mainly because he wouldn’t want to go through the trouble of further negotiations. “I wouldn’t ask a damn thing,” he said. “$7.5 million is a lot of money…but that’s a lot of running, too.”
It wasn’t just Dan and Laura who shared their thoughts on what they would do with such a large sum of money. One person wrote the following: “If they had that much money, why didn’t they pay for the storage unit? Why would you put money in there anyway.” Another person wrote. “I’d keep it! Why the hell didn’t they claim it, why the hell would they let it sit until someone bought the locker?” Soon enough though, the two parties came to a decision…
One Loss, Another’s Gain?
One thing is for sure; there are two sides to every story. And while this incredible discovery could prove to be a life-changing sum of money for the anonymous buyer, we also have to think about the person who lost the money. Could it be the case that one person’s loss will prove to be another person’s gain in this story? What Dotson would soon learn was that there was one more crucial chapter left to be told…
He Took The Money
When everything was said and done, the current owner of the $7.5 million decided to accept the previous owner’s offer. In what ended up essentially being a reward for holding onto the money, the person received just under $1.5 million as part of the deal. While he may have considered this as a loss, the anonymous individual still came out of the situation a very rich man. However, there was still a very important detail to take away from this remarkable story…
Dan Will Be Fine
Dan Dotson might feel like he missed a huge opportunity with that goldmine of a storage unit. However, based on his huge $4.5 million net worth, we can’t see him having too many financial issues anytime soon. While the average auctioneer is believed to earn about $46,000 per year, Dan Dotson’s reputation as TV’s most famous auctioneer means that he’s earning somewhere in the region of $300,000 per year. And it appears that the apple my not fall too far from the tree…
The Future’s Bright
It seems like Dan and Laura’s son Garrett Dotson might just follow in the footsteps of his superstar parents. Back in 2008, when he was just 10 years old, Garrett did a bit of auctioneering of his own when he put up his dirtbike for auction. While his parents don’t put any pressure on him to join them in the auctioneering game, it seems that Garrett has an unbreakable passion for all things car-related and works for Stance Show Off.
In the end, everyone involved in the story took away something that heavily benefited them. The previous owner got most of their money back, the current owner still came out of the deal a rich man, and Dan Dotson ended up with an awesome story that would go completely viral! The Storage Wars man ended up receiving thousands of likes and comments on social media for his posts and it came just before the new season of Storage Wars.