After an almost fatal car accident, Loren Krytzer’s successful career as a freelance carpenter came crashing to a halt. Doctors gave him five years to live, and after various medical complications, his foot had to be amputated.
Despite his amputation, he was denied disability multiple times, which eventually forced him to send his children to live with their grandparents in Louisiana.
When disability finally came through, Krytzer was living paycheck to paycheck on just $200 a month after paying rent. He was also living on shared income from his girlfriend Lisa, but it was still barely enough to get by.
Almost at his breaking point, Kryzter came across an episode of Antiques Roadshow. On the show, an elderly man was shocked to find out that his First Phase Navajo blanket was worth nearly $500,000.
Krytzer immediately went to his closet to retrieve a blanket he had inherited from his grandmother seven years earlier. The blanket looked exactly like the one on the show.
Kryzter had inherited the blanket somewhat on accident. When his grandmother passed away, his mother and sister went through her things. When the blanket came up, neither of them wanted it.
So he took it home with him and put it in his closet, where it stayed for the next seven years.
Krytzer thought that his blanket could be worth around $5,000-$10,000. When he showed the episode of Antiques Roadshow to his mother, she remarked that his wouldn’t even be worth $10.
Even so, Kryzter knew he needed to find out if the blanket was worth anything at all. He brought it to numerous antique dealers, but most told him it was just an average Mexican blanket.
His final attempt was at John Moran Auctioneers, a family auction company he found online that sold Native American artifacts. And when Krytzer walked through the door, Jeff Moran knew it was no ordinary blanket.
After testing, it was revealed that the blanket was one of the most rare Navajo chief blankets in the world. The blanket was set to be up for auction six months later.
Even though he was told the blanket could make him around $200,000 at the auction, Krytzer began to get cold feet. He almost decided to break his deal with Moran and take a check from competing companies that would pay him up front.
But Moran was determined to convince Krytzer to sell with him. In a parking lot two weeks before the auction, Moran gave Kryzter a $9,000 advance.
After that, Krytzer decided to sell with Moran. In a 77-second auction, the blanket went from an opening price of $150,000 to $1.5 million. Krytzer went home with $1.3 million.
In the weeks following the auction, Krytzer received calls from distant relatives asking for a portion of the money. His sister even threatened to sue him.
But Krytzer met with Moran’s accountant for a lesson on the “time value of money.” With his earnings, Krytzer invested in stocks and municipal bonds, bought a new car, a new motorcycle, and two homes — one for himself, and one to rent out. He also married his girlfriend Lisa, and went on a pre-honeymoon cruise with her and her three daughters.
“I firmly believe I’m here because years ago I turned my life around,” he said. “The things I’ve been through, I tell people it’s a strong faith and a strong mind. Without those things you’re not going to make it.”
Krytzer knows that even $1.3 million will run out eventually with no income. He hopes to eventually move to Idaho to lessen the cost of living, and plans on getting a part-time job to offset costs and begin to save his money.
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