Derek McLennan recently decided to grab his metal detector and head out in hopes of finding something rather interesting. However, he’d end up discovering more than he ever imagined. In fact, things would take quite a turn as his device started to go off like crazy – and that’s when he unearthed the jackpot of a lifetime.
Although he’d been out several times before, Derek had no idea what a day back in 2014 would bring. Heading out to a field in western Scotland, the man started his typical sweeping pattern only to find a large swath of land that was consistently setting off his metal detector.
As one would imagine, he decided to investigate further and was beyond shocked when he saw something shiny just below the surface. Doing as anyone would, he kept digging and searching with his metal detector until every single thing nearby had been found.
In the end, he had unearthed the “richest collection” of rare Viking artifacts ever found in the UK, containing about 100 pieces in total. Although most of the objects were silver, the haul also contained textiles and an “outstanding range of exceptional precious metal and jeweled items,” Mail Online reports.
Of course, Derek wanted to make sure the treasure was kept secret, so he quietly went about the proper channels, passing the collection along to experts and the body which rules over ownerless goods and property.
Now, almost three years later, Derek has finally been ruled the sole owner of the treasure, which has since been dubbed the “Galloway hoard.” As if that wasn’t cool enough, you can imagine his surprise when assessors told him that his massive find was valued at £1.98 million ($2.5 million U.S. dollars).
Since then, The Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (QLTR) has ruled that Derek’s collection should be allocated to National Museums Scotland (NMS) for display. Of course, the judgment comes with one stipulation – that Derek is paid full market value for what he found and now owns.
Currently, the NMS has 6 months to raise the funds to pay Derek and has announced that to be their intention. “I am pleased to announce that I am minded to accept the recommendation of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel (SAFAP) that these wonderful items be allocated to National Museums Scotland, subject to it meeting the ex gratia award which would then be payable to the finder,” said QLTR’s David Harvie.
Once in the possession of the museum, administrators are hoping to keep the collection in the vicinity for a short time so that locals can enjoy the find that was discovered so close to home. From there, it is set to travel the world.
Discoveries like this are truly remarkable, and Derek is sure to be ecstatic now that he knows he owns it and that he’ll be getting millions for it. Of course, the first response to things like this is usually “oh, that guy is lucky,” but that’s not necessarily the case.
There’s no telling how many hours Derek spent doing what he loved before it actually paid off. With that being said, if you want this to happen, it’s not going to happen from your couch – you have to get out there and start looking. Adventure awaits – and the best part? You could become rich.