A man looking to diversify his investments from stocks to Magic the Gathering cards has found the highly prized Black Lotus card after accidentally opening a vintage pack.
Talking to PC Gamer (opens in new tab), the man - known only as Michael - used to play the game in the mid-90s and invested an unknown amount - thought to be anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 - into an unopened MTG card pack.
Even though his pack couldn't contain the sought-after Alpha Black Lotus, the Beta variant is still highly collectible as it too will never be reprinted.
"I had read that you could search a pack and see the contents without opening," Michael told PC Gamer. "I wanted to search it and if it had good cards in it, I would open. If not I would just hold it and let it appreciate in value as a sealed booster pack or keep as a piece of history."
But after accidentally breaking the seal after trying to get a sneaky peek at its content, Michael found a rare prize indeed: the Beta Black Lotus card, which can be worth tens of thousands of dollars depending upon its condition.
"I literally blank stared at it for a few seconds. My brain was full-on loading screen," Michael said. "The first coherent thought I remember having was, 'No. This is fake. This HAS to be fake. There is no way...'
"After that, it was a blur of me trying to find my card bag that had cases in it and yelling for my life partner to stay away from the table," he said. "She thought something was wrong based on how I sounded. You have to realize, I was literally in my underwear running around the house trying to find a case to put this thing in!"
Michael is now looking to have the card professionally graded (opens in new tab).
A rare Magic: The Gathering card recently sold at auction for over half a million dollars (opens in new tab).
The game's most powerful and sought-after card, Black Lotus – which was released as part of the Alpha set in 1993 – popped up on eBay earlier this month and closed at the end of January, having sold for an astonishing $511,100. That's three times the price paid for a similar quality card in 2019, and five times the price paid in 2018.
The steep price is thought to have been achieved due to the card's mint condition – rated as "MT 10" – and the fact it's been signed by artist Christopher Rush, who sadly died back in 2016.
ICYMI, the first Magic: Legends open beta will begin on March 23 (opens in new tab), giving players their first taste of the free-to-play, deck-building action-RPG.
You can sign up for the beta via the official Magic: Legends website. All you have to do is make a free Arc account and click the button in the top-right corner. Ahead of the beta, you can also put in for a slot in the final closed alpha.
Alpha and beta testing is exclusive to PC, but PS4 and Xbox One players will get to join in the full release later this year. In a new deck-building deep-dive, Perfect World gave us a better idea of what to expect from Magic: Legends, and a clearer picture of how it adapts the rules of Magic: The Gathering.