'Holy Grail' of Atari Games Found Donated at Texas Goodwill Sells for a Whopping $10K
According to Goodwill North Central Texas, "only 13 known copies exist."
A carton containing a bunch of old video games that made its way to the Goodwill store in North Central Texas included an Atari game that has been sold at auction for a whopping $10,590.79.
The premise of 1982's Air Raid Atari 2600, manufactured by Men-A-Vision, revolves around players taking control of an airship defending Earth.
“Very few copies of the game were released, making it incredibly sought after by retro video game collectors, despite its lackluster gameplay,” Liz Confiliano, Director, Community Engagement at Goodwill North Central Texas told Inside Edition Digital.
Confiliano said that they don’t know the person who made the donation and said the donor was most likely unaware of the game's value.
“Only 13 known copies exist," she said.
In early June, Alex Juarez, a Goodwill North Central Texas’ e-commerce item processor, was the one who spotted the rare find. Juarez was searching through donated video games and saw the Atari game that had a distinct T-shaped handle design and light blue coloring.
Juarez said he called his father, who is a video game enthusiast, who confirmed that that particular game was something special.
Juarez's father was right.
On June 10, the auction began on the ShopGoodwill North Central Texas site. The auction lasted for seven days and included a bidding war with a total of 34 bids, Confiliano said.
On day one, the bidding began with a $20 bid just 15 minutes after the item was listed. By the end of the day, the bidding had increased to just over $2,000.
Over the next few days, Confiliano said, bids steadily came in and on the morning of the final day of the auction, the dollar amount went to $5,100.
“It certainly got a lot of hits when it was on ShopGoodwill.com and was added to 235 watchlists during the auction,” she said.
In the last minute of the auction, Confiliano said the bids increased from $6,300 to its final sales price of $10,590.79.
“I think everyone was surprised,” Confiliano said. “The other most recent copy we can find on AirRaid on Ebay sold in 2011 for $3,575. Since this didn’t have the box, we thought it would sell in that neighborhood.”
With the $10,000 earned from the sale of this one item, Goodwill North Central Texas can provide day habilitation services for a year for one adult with disabilities, provide 20 homeless individuals with job placement services and community resources, or help 10 at-risk youths earn their GED and a paycheck at the same time, she said.
Rosemary Cruz, vice president of donated goods and retail, said the Air Raid game was the highest-selling single piece item that they’ve had.
“We are having a lot of fun with [it],” Cruz said.
According to Goodwill, the buyer did not want to be identified.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Juarez said of discovering the game. “It is more of a piece of history than just an expensive game to me.
“If it were me buying it, I’d probably put in a case and just look at it," he continued. "But I think it would be cool to see it played.”
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