It's Like Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket, but With UK Bank Notes

Only one of four are left, worth about $60,000
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2017 2:22 PM CST
It's Like Willy Wonka's Golden Ticket, but With UK Bank Notes
If you happen to come across a 5-pound note in the UK with this image of Jane Austen, it's your lucky day.   (

Consumers in the UK are on the hunt for a rare and valuable Willy Wonka-style golden ticket—while the woman who found the third of only four in existence is donating it to charity. It all started when renowned "micro-engraver" Graham Short etched a 5mm-tall image of English author Jane Austen onto four new 5-pound notes, reports the BBC. That's no small thing: Short once sold a portrait of the queen etched onto a tiny piece of gold for about $100,000, notes the Week, and thus his four new etchings are estimated to be worth $60,000 each. Short sent them out into the world by spending one note in each of the kingdom's four home nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The first note was found in a Wales café in December 2016, and not long after the second was found in a Christmas card in Scotland. Now, an elderly woman in Northern Ireland who wishes to remain anonymous just found the third one and sent it back to Short with a handwritten note that reads, "£5 note enclosed, I don't need it at my time of life. Please use it to help young people." Short writes on his website that he will honor her wishes and is working with charities to do so, reports the Telegraph. The fourth and final note, first spent in England, is still at large. (One woman bought a lottery ticket to show her husband it's a waste of money and won, well, a lot of money.)

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