John Lennon's toilet is among the highlights of an auction of Beatles memorabilia. Bids are invited for Lennon's toilet from Tittenhurst Park, his Berkshire home between 1969 and 1972. Lennon told a builder, John Hancock, to keep the porcelain lavatory and "use it as a plant pot" after he had installed a new one. It was stored in a shed at Hancock's home for 40 years until he died recently. The toilet is estimated to fetch £750 to £1,000. The auction organizer, Stephen Bailey, said: "The toilet might be worth something, and it might not, but it is certainly one of the most unusual items we've sold."
867-5309 Phone Number ($186,853)
One of the most famous phone numbers in popular music is up for sale – or at least, one version of it is. 867-5309, the titular digits of Tommy Tutone's 1982 hit, was listed in an eBay auction by New Jersey DJ Spencer Potter. Potter was not just selling the phone number, which would violate the telephone company's rules, but rather the DJ business to which the phone number is linked. He claimed he used to receive almost 10,000 calls each year, from curious "80s fanatics" hoping to have a word with Jenny, to whom the song is addressed. Of course, Potter's 867-5309 was not the only 867-5309 in existence. There are several 867-5309s across the United States (and the world) – his was simply the one with a popular New Jersey area code. The ebay auction ended on February 9th (2009) and the winning bid was an amazing $186,853.09.
A Jerking Off Manga-boy Sculpture($13,5 million)
"My Lonesome Cowboy" by Takashi Murakami, a life-sized sculpture of a bright-eyed anime manga-boy j**king off and whipping his j*zz into a gigantic lasso around his head at the Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening was estimated to go for $3-$4 million, surpassed expectations and ended up with a $13.5 million closing bid. Add in the 11% house commission and you've got yourself a world-famous Murakami for a cool $15.161 million. The only question that remains… where to put it?
Churchill's Denture ($23,000)
A pair of false teeth worn by Winston Churchill was sold at auction for more than $23,000 -- on the same day that plans were announced to put the British wartime leader's archive papers online for the first time. Churchill, famous for his rousing speeches during World War II, had several sets of the partial upper dentures specially constructed to hide his natural lisp and accentuate his signature slurred diction. The former prime minister "lived in fear of losing his false teeth" and would always have a spare set to hand, entrusted to his private secretary. The set which sold for £15,200 ($23,700) -- more than three times its expected price -- was put up for sale by Nigel Cudlipp, the son of the dental technician who made them, Derek Cudlipp. According to Nigel, his father said he could always tell how the war was going from the distance Winston hurled the teeth.
GigaYacht ($168 million)
The most expensive item ever auctioned on eBay was a 405-foot yacht, appropriately named the Gigayacht. A Florida company named 4Yacht sold the monstrosity for a final purchase price of $168 million. To even acquire the boat, the seller had to make a onetime payment of $84 million (half the sticker price) to hold it for him. The Gigayacht was designed by former naval architect Frank Mulder, who has since designed an even more extravagant Gigayacht for sale on eBay. The new boat is lavish as they come, featuring fourteen multi-level VIP suites and a helicopter garage.
Marilyn Monroe's Dress ($1.26 million)
In New York the sale of a dress that screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, wore when she breathlessly sang Happy Birthday to President Kennedy in 1962 broke records by fetching more than $1m at an auction. The flesh-coloured dress, so tight she had to be sewn into it, had been expected to attract the highest bid when it went under the hammer at the end of the first session of a two-day auction at Christie's of her personal belongings - and it did. It originally cost $12,000, and the final bid of $1,267,500 easily broke the previous record for a dress sale at an auction which had been the $225,000 paid for an ink blue, Princess Diana gown that was sold two years ago. The dress, which has become a part of 20th Century American history, was worn by the glamorous star just three months before she died as she serenaded to the young president who was later assassinated. It was sold to New York dealers, Gotta Have It! Collectibles. Company co-owner Robert Schargin said afterwards he thought it was worth $3m. "We really got the bargain of the century," he said.
World's Biggest Gold Coin (£2.68 million)
A Spanish precious metals trading company bought the world's largest gold coin for £2.68 million, its exact material worth, from the estate of an insolvent investment firm at a rare auction in Vienna. The 220.5 lb piece, one of only five Canadian $1,000,000 Maple Leaf coins the Royal Canadian Mint has ever produced, was snapped up immediately in a written bid from ORO direct, a gold trading company based in Madrid. There were no counter offers in an auction room packed with more journalists than potential buyers. The auction was ordered by the administrator of Austrian investment group AvW Invest, which filed for insolvency after its owner and chief executive was arrested on suspicion of fraud, breach of trust and other charges. AvW had acquired the coin in 2007, joining an exclusive club of owners including Queen Elizabeth, who is also displayed on one side of the coin, two unidentified investors in Dubai and one who is so reclusive even his or her residence is unknown. Its purity is 99.999 percent, the purest type in the market.
Edward Scissorhands' scissor hands ($16,000)
During a Christie's auction of entertainment items, Edward Scissorhands'scissor hands was one of the top earners, selling for an astounding $16,000! The prop, composed of steel, leather, painted rubber and foam-latex, was only expected to garner $5,000! The scissor hands were created and designed by Stan Winston.
A Meteorite Collection ($1.4 million)
At first glance, it looks like a rather uninspiring collection of rocks. But these stones can truly be described as out of this world – and look set to net their owner an astronomical sum. Scots meteorite hunter Rob Elliott is thanking his lucky stars after auctioneers put a $1.4 million price tag on his stockpile. The former electronics engineer is selling 170 meteorites from his 1,000-strong collection after spending the last 13 years scouring the world for examples. Tonight Mr Elliott, 48, said that it was time for someone else to enjoy the fruits of his labour.
A Black Watermelon ($ 6,000)
A black jumbo watermelon auctioned in northern Japan fetched a record $6,100, making it the most expensive watermelon ever sold in the country - and possibly the world. The 17-pound premium Densuke watermelon, one of only 65 from the first harvest of the season, was purchased by a marine products dealer who said he wanted to support local agriculture. The fruit is grown only on the northern island of Hokkaido. In a country where melons are a luxury item commonly given as gifts, the watermelon's hefty price tag follows another jaw-dropping auction, where a pair of Yubari cantaloupe melons sold for a record $23,500. For seasonal, high-end fruits like the Densuke watermelon and the Yubari cantaloupes, Japanese buyers are often willing to pay top prices at auction for the prestige of owning the very first ones of the year.
The married man who created an affair website for married people
Ashleymadison.com is a dating website with a difference; it only accepts married people, or someone wanting to date a married person. The site's slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair". The site founder is a former attorney Noel Biderman, who is interestingly a happily married man. Although his mission can be perceived as very wrong (for the record: cheating is bad!), the fact that the site claims 3.2 million members suggests that it's also doing something right.
The man who created a million dollar business of dog poop-scooping
The most noted pioneer in the poop-scooping business is Matthew Osborn, who runs Pooper-Scooper.com. He never knew that this business would one day make him a millionaire. Osborn got started back in 1987 when he opened Pet Butler in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, Osborn was working two full-time jobs and making less than $6 per hour at each. He had a wife, a daughter and a son on the way, and was desperate to make some extra money. He learned that there were about 100,000 dogs within 15 miles of his home. The business slowly took off, and despite the dirty work, Osborn says he enjoyed satisfying the customers and working outdoors in some of the nicest backyards in Ohio. Eventually Osborn employed seven people and owned a fleet of six trucks serving about 700 regular customers. While Osborn may have put poop scooping on the map, Matt "Red" Boswell is taking it into the future. Boswell owns the Texas-based Pet Butler. Today, Pet Butler is the largest pet waste removal service in the country, and serves about 3,000 clients.
The teenager kid who made millions selling jam out of his grandmother's recipe
While most successful entrepreneurs make their money building popular Web sites, Fraser Doherty built his empire using a more traditional way. Fraser started making jams at the age of 14 from his grandmother's recipes in his parents' Scotland kitchen, and by 16 left school to work on his jam business SuperJam full-time. SuperJam sells around 500,000 jars a year, which currently has around 10 percent of UK jam market. Doherty's stake is now worth $1 to 2 million.
The company who made a fortune selling goggles for dogs
Eyewear for a pet dog? Sounds pretty dumb doesn't it? But not if someone actually starts manufacturing them and turns them into a million dollar business. The business has received attention and coverage from CNN, Women's World, People, Regis and Kelly, National Geographic and Animal Planet. Starting off with goggles, they have now expanded their business into a host of other accessories for their animals which include Backpacks, Flotation Jackets, T Shirts, Caps, and Toys.
The man who became a millionaire producing plastic wishbones
Who would ever think that there would be a market for fake plastic wishbones? Well… there is! Ken Ahroni was frustrated that every year only two people got to make a wish around the Thanksgiving table. So he decided to create LuckyBreak, a company that would make synthetic wishbones with the sound and feel of real dried turkey wishbones. Now the company makes 30,000 wishbones a day, selling custom-designed, imprinted units for personal, corporate and promotional use. Their sales are over $2.5 Million per year.
The housewife who invented a microwaveable pillow
Kim Levine, invented Wuvit, little bags that come in various patterns and provide soothing penetrating moist heat. Kim realized that if she put some corn in cloth, sewed it together and then put it in the microwave; a warm relaxing pillow would be created. She rushed to create the simple product idea with her sewing machine and her multi-million dollar empire was born! Initially, Kim thought the Wuvit® concept would just be great gift for her kids and for people in her local area. But soon she realized her idea had huge potential. When local parents started calling her in the middle of the night asking for another soothing pillow because their kids could not sleep without the Wuvit®, she knew she had a fabulous opportunity. She started going to local retailers and craft shows, and then eventually got a major break when Saks Department Store decided to put the Wuvit® products in their stores! Now she's a millionaire and has even written a book about her retail endeavors!
The guy who sold pixels at a webpage for $1 Million
Back in 2005, a 21-year-old student in England named Alex Tew launched The Million Dollar Homepage, through which he sold the pixels of a 1000×1000 grid for $1 each. Although it was an extremely simple idea, the unique project attracted enormous amounts of press coverage, and eventually earned $1,037,100 in a matter of months - the final slot on the page went for $38,100. It also spawned countless copycat websites that virtually all failed, since the idea was no longer novel.
The guy who created a company that provides excuse letters to miss work
Do you need an excuse to miss work? A company has launched an excuse absence network service for U.S. employees and students which offers a load of excuses you can use to be absent from work. The Excused Absence Network provides all your excuse letter needs for just $25 per excuse note. These can be notes which appear to come from professional doctor or hospital and even fake jury summons and authentic-looking funeral service program with poems and pallbearers. The founder started the business for $300 and currently runs it off a laptop in a small Oklahoma town. The site gets about 15,000 hits a month.
The monks who sell over 2,5 million in printer cartridge
Father Bernard McCoy is CEO of LaserMonks.com, an Internet retailer that sells discounted printer cartridges and other office supplies. Customers include individuals and churches, along with giants such as Morgan Stanley (Research) and the U.S. Forest Service. It's a lucrative business. Sales have risen from $2,000 in 2002, the company's first full year of operation, to around $2.5 million in 2005. The idea for LaserMonks.com came to Father McCoy one day when his printer ran out of ink. He shopped around for a new ink cartridge but couldn't find one that was reasonably priced. In the beginning LaserMonks.com consisted of a few monks sitting around withblack powder and empty plastic cartridges, filling a few orders a day. Today the monks say they have served more than 50,000 customers, and they process 200 to 300 daily orders for a broad range of school and office supplies.
The girl who made a 1.5 million fortune by offering MySpace layouts
A teenage girl who had a flair for the creative set up a site called WhateverLife to offer layouts for MySpace and free tutorials. Her numbers are now impressive. The 17 year- old high school dropout has made more than $1 million. She earns as much as $70K a month, and owns a website that attracts more than 7 million monthly visitors and 60 million page views.