Check Your Basements: Rare Atari Game Sold for $31,600

Apr 15, 2010, 05:30 ET from Mental Floss, LLC

CLEVELAND, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The folks at mental_floss magazine always said reading their publication will make you smarter. They never expected it could make someone a quick $31,600.

Last month, Tanner Sandlin of Austin, Texas, read a mental_floss article about rare video games that had been republished on Mr. Sandlin recognized one of the games – Air Raid for the Atari 2600 –  and headed for his garage. After finding the thirteenth known copy of Air Raid, he put it on eBay, and on April 10th, the game sold for $31,600 – the second-highest price ever paid for a video game.

Sandlin said he paid between $5 and $10 for Air Raid in the mid-1980s at a store called Tuesday Morning in Arlington, Texas. He still had the original packaging, which gave him the only known complete copy of the game in existence.

Oddly enough, Sandlin remembered that the game wasn't all that fun. In fact, the only reason he still had it was because it was so bad. He and his friends used to borrow games from each other all the time – sometimes you'd get your game back, sometimes you wouldn't. Back then no one else wanted Air Raid.

Sandlin's not complaining now.

When mental_floss asked what he intended to do with the money, he wasn't quite sure. He did know that he wanted to buy something tangible; something he could point at it and say, "I bought that with a video game!"

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SOURCE Mental Floss, LLC