Georgia's Cliff Kluge is a self-described "treasure hunter" who thinks he found a 1943 recipe for Coca-Cola in a box of old letters. He's auctioning off the top-secret formula (it's tough to call this a "recipe") on eBay for a mere $5 million. (In case you're curious, eBay classifies the find as a "historical document.") If you have excess cash, a competitive spirit, and the yen to make Coke at home, you can buy it outright for $15 million.
It's a niche market: We're thinking now of shipping heiress Christina Onassis, a notorious Coke fiend who could tell where each bottle had been formulated and imported cases to her isle off the Grecian coast with regularity. Sadly, she's dead.
Kluge is optimistic; the Coca-Cola company is cagey. They claim that the "real formula is safely tucked away in a vault at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta," probably with the bodies of the marketing team who invented New Coke. And while the "World of Coca-Cola" does sound like a wondrous land where children can get sugar highs until their teeth fall out, it seems unlikely that there's only one version of the formula on the loose.
In fact, you'll recall "This American Life" published a version two years ago , and Kluge's find bears a striking similarity.
As such, Kluge is downright giddy: "It's a letter, and a formula, and the processes to make it," he told one local news station. "I think it's a little deeper than having fun; I think it's the recipe for Coca-Cola." If this is true, it's no wonder that the stuff helps people die or at least get obese. A snapshot on eBay reveals mouthwatering phrases like "killed off by acids," "3.5 volumes gas," "fatty substances," and "spoilage trouble."
Seven hours left to bid!
Treasure Hunter Finds Recipe for Coca-Cola in Random Box of Letters [Gawker]
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