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Dad becomes millionaire after $1.8 million ‘space rock’ crashes through roof

Dad becomes millionaire after $1.8M ‘space rock’ crashes through roof

Image
Meteorite
Meteorite
Getty Images
Updated: November 18, 2020 - 9:18pm

Forget the lottery, look to the skies.

A father of three in Indonesia just became an instant millionaire after a lump of space rock crashed through his roof. Josua Hutagalung, 33, was outside his home when the football-sized meteorite smashed through the veranda at the edge of his living room, The Sun reported.

"Experts have hailed the 4.5 billion-year-old space rock as one of the most significant meteorite finds ever - saying it could contain elements which give clues to the origins of life," the UK paper wrote.

Hutagalung, a coffin maker who lives in North Sumatra, sold the rock to a specialist collector – for $1.8 million. That's equivalent to 30 years of his salary. He says he plans to retire and build a new church for his village.

He told the paper: “I was working on a coffin near the street in front of my house when I heard a booming sound that made my house shake. It was as if a tree had fallen on us. It was too hot to pick up so my wife dug it out with a hoe and we took it inside."

The nearly five-pound rock will also help him pay for another child. "I have also always wanted a daughter, and I hope this is a sign that I will be lucky enough now to have one,” he said.

Space rock expert Jared Collins went to Hutagalung's home to get the meteorite, saying: “My phone lit up with crazy offers for me to jump on a plane and buy the meteorite."

“It was in the middle of the Covid crisis and frankly it was a toss-up between buying the rock for myself or working with scientists and collectors in the U.S.," he told the paper. "I carried as much money as I could muster and went to find Josua, who turned out to be a canny negotiator.”

A second collector is selling fragments of the meteorite on eBay for about $1,000 a gram. The rock "is classified as CM1/2 carbonaceous Chondrite, an extremely rare variety which scientists believe contains unique amino acids and other primordial elements necessary for the sparking of life itself."

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