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The Story of the Showboat $1 Casino Chip

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In 2008, Mrs. Sandy Marbs was widowed and living on Social Security. She had recently discovered eBay as a way to earn a few extra dollars. She had been clearing items from her house and creating auctions on eBay for a few months now. The knickknacks sold for $5-$30 and she was happy with the additional income they provided. One of the items she decided to sell was an old $1 casino chip from the Showboat Casino in Las Vegas. She and her husband had visited Las Vegas 47 years earlier and, for some forgotten reason, they had kept the chip. Her husband then tossed it in his jewelry box where it sat all this time. Sandy posted a number of other auctions that week, as was her habit. The starting bid for the $1 Showboat casino chip was $2.25.


To her surprise and delight, she soon received offers to buy the chip immediately if she would end the auction early. Luckily, she had also been contacted by a casino chip collector advising her to just let the auction run its course. Sandy turned down offers of $1,000, $4,000, and even $5,000 for the chip. As with many eBay auctions, all of the serious bids come in at the last minute. When the auction ended on May 4th, Sandy was shocked to see that the $1 casino chip that had been forgotten in her husband's jewelry box for 47 years had fetched $28,988.88. This was the highest amount ever paid for a single $1 casino chip. Only 2 of these $1 Showboat chips are known to exist.

It just goes to show that you never know when one of those casino chips that followed you home in your pocket and now sits in a desk drawer, collecting dust, may be worth something someday. While I was not the buyer of the $1 Showboat casino chip in this story, I did watch the auction unfold on eBay that week. If you have any casino chips and are curious as to their value, just contact me and I'll research it for you. While the vast majority are only worth $3 or so, there are those old Las Vegas chips, full of history from the days when the mob ran the town, whose value might just surprise you as it did for Mrs. Sandy Marbs.

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