As the story goes…
One day the owner of a seaside arcade which was recently damaged in a flood was cleaning out the backroom of his property. All of the boxes and old video machines in the backroom were wet and appeared to be complete losses.
For an hour the owner was tossing box after box into a dumpster right out the door. As he got tired and took a break for a few minutes he noticed a large box full of replacement eggs for the ‘Cluck O’ Luck’ machine. The ‘Cluck O’ Luck’ was a simple gumball type machine only larger and with a chicken statue on top. The machine would be full of hollow plastic eggs containing a prize and when someone put in a quarter the chicken statue would bounce around, make some noise, and release one of the eggs.
Then the paying customer would collect their egg and open it to see what it contained as their prize, which was usually just a simple plastic ring with a spider on it, a temporary tattoo of a dragon, a pencil eraser in the shape of a horse, and many other forgettable charms of different shapes and sizes. It was the least popular of all the machines in the arcade which meant there wasn’t much need for replacement eggs, so the box the owner just found was rather old.
Needing to release some tension the owner opened the box and started throwing the eggs one by one into the dumpster. He’s throw some like a baseball pitcher, some like a basketball player, and some like bowling ball. He did this for about 20 minutes and never once did he open one of the eggs to see what was inside. He figured the box and eggs it contained were old, wet, damaged, and undesirable so he just kept creatively throwing them away even as the garbage truck picked up the dumpster and carried it away.
About two hours later the owners young assistant arrived for work, and while helping cleanup he discovered the old wet box now less than half full of replacement eggs. That’s when he decided to stick his hand in the box, pull out an egg, and open it to claim his prize. As he did so a mini figurine of a football player fell out. However, the figurine seemed odd to the young assistant. That’s when he inspected it further and noticed it was an error figurine. The error was that the player featured on the figurine never played for the team whose uniform was featured on the figurine. It was messed up straight from the factory. It could be worth something he thought.
That’s when the young assistant checked the internet and confirmed that YES it was an error figurine, and it was rare. It was worth about $50! That’s when he dove back into the box and opened more eggs to see if there were any more error figurines, and there was! In fact every egg contained a different error figurine. That old, wet, damaged, and undesirable box was worth thousands of dollars!
The young assistant rushed to the owner to tell him what he found and when he did the owner nearly fainted on the spot. “What’s wrong?” the assistant frantically asked. The owner hung his head down and answered, “Earlier today I threw more than half of the eggs from that box into the dumpster which is now gone. Instead of having thousands of dollars I could have had tens of thousands of dollars, but since they looked so bad on the outside I just threw them all away.”
MORAL OF THE STORY: Far too often we get caught up in outside appearances and assign worth based on what we initially see. If something isn’t attractive or stimulating immediately we too quickly discard it. That also works with people we encounter in life, and it even applies to ourselves at times. We lose track that there is a prize inside each of us which needs to be discovered and nurtured. Always remember that just because something or someone appears to be damaged or different doesn’t mean there’s not tremendous worth inside waiting to be uncovered.
How The Arcade Owner Lost A Fortune
– Written by Motivational Joe