11:57 AM EST, January 15, 2013
Imagine finding out something you thought was worthless was really worth a fortune.
Rue Ferguson was curious about this painting that had been in his family for 80 years. The Fergusons' thought so little of the painting, they actually hung it on the back of a door.
"For 30 years they thought it was a fake," said Ferguson. "If the door was open you couldn't see it."
Not long ago, the popular PBS program Antiques Roadshow came to Corpus Christie, Texas. So, Ferguson packed the painting in bubble wrap and decided to check out what it might be worth.
Right away, the expert appraiser realized this was no ordinary painting.
"The painting is by a very important artist. It's signed and dated lower right, Diego Rivera, 1904," said the expert.
Diego Rivera is one of the most important artists of the early 20th century. Then came the next surprise.
"They don't tell you anything. The first time I heard what it was worth was when the cameras started rolling," said Ferguson.
"I would be putting a retail price on it of $800,000 to $1 million," said the expert.
"I was astonished," said Ferguson.
The painting is now safely stored in a bank vault. Ferguson says his kids will own it one day, but for now, he hopes to loan it to a museum so everyone can enjoy it.