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Blanket scores broke bloke a fortune

Loren Krytzer and wife Lisa with the blanket that turned out to be a Native American relic. Picture: Facebook
Loren Krytzer and wife Lisa with the blanket that turned out to be a Native American relic. Picture: Facebook

THIS should cover him for a while.

A broke California man is resting a little easier after he found out that his old family-heirloom blanket was actually a Navajo weaving from the 1800s worth A$2 million, reports the New York Post.

Loren Krytzer was barely scraping by on disability payments after he lost his leg in a 2007 car crash and living in a shack when he found out the blanket that had sat in his closet for seven years was worth a fortune.

Loren Krytzer saw this episode of Antiques Roadshow, where this particular blanket was valued at $650,000. Picture: PBS
Loren Krytzer saw this episode of Antiques Roadshow, where this particular blanket was valued at $650,000. Picture: PBS

He was watching Antiques Roadshow when he saw a rug just like the one his grandmother left him and learned it could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. So six months later, he put it up for auction.

The bidding started at $200,000 but eventually netted him 10 times that - $2 million.

It "gave me a new lease on life," Krytzer told US media. "It truly did."

A photo that was provided by Krytzer of his great-great-grandfather John Chantland (right) and his North Dakota trading post, boosted intrigue for the artefact. Picture: Loren Krytzer
A photo that was provided by Krytzer of his great-great-grandfather John Chantland (right) and his North Dakota trading post, boosted intrigue for the artefact. Picture: Loren Krytzer

Now he's taken his wife and three daughters on a holiday to Mexico, invested a share of the windfall in stocks and bonds, bought himself a souped up car and scored two houses - including one worth $320,000 dollars.

But the blanket money is also presenting some new snags: namely, a kingsize tax bill - and some distant relatives.

The Navajo blanket had sat in the family’s cupboard for years. Picture: Facebook
The Navajo blanket had sat in the family’s cupboard for years. Picture: Facebook

"It's not like it was 40 or 50 years ago," he said of his tax burden. "If I'd have gotten $1 million 50 years ago, I'd be rich right now. I would literally be rich. We're getting taxed to death here. I can't afford it. I'm from California, I grew up here, but without working, it's just hard to survive."

Krytzer lost his disability as a result of the windfall, and now he owes more than $10,000 to insure the homes and pay taxes on the property.

Loren Krytzer has since bought himself a motorbike and souped-up car. Picture: Facebook
Loren Krytzer has since bought himself a motorbike and souped-up car. Picture: Facebook

And then there are his long-lost relations.

"I had people calling me and bugging me and stuff," Krytzer said. "People you haven't seen in years - family members that don't talk to you. You get some money, and they're like, 'Where's mine?'"

The blanket was made by Navajo Native Americans. Picture: Facebook
The blanket was made by Navajo Native Americans. Picture: Facebook

Still, Krytzer says his life has definitely taken a turn for the better. He and his family are mulling a move to Idaho, where things are more affordable and they can stretch out their new-found safety net.

Loren and Lisa Krytzer after learning the blanket would make them millionaires. Picture: YouTube
Loren and Lisa Krytzer after learning the blanket would make them millionaires. Picture: YouTube

This story was originally published in the New York Post and is reprinted with permission.

Topics:  antiques family heirloom


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