15-Year-Old Bids $15 Million On Coca-Cola Recipe

Image via Flickr/ Soapstar D'lux

Cliff Kluge, who recently listed what he believes to be a copy of Coca-Cola’s original recipe for sale on eBay, says the lone and winning bid for the document was invalid.

The Georgia resident found the yellowed recipe dated 1943 in a box of documents, that had belonged to a late Georgia chemist. Kluge paid $100 for the box four years ago at an estate sale. When he found the type-written recipe, he felt it was the real deal. But a Coca-Cola representative was positive the document was a fake, claiming the only copy of the original recipe sits safely in a safe at the company’s Atlanta headquarters.

Undeterred, Kluge listed his find on eBay, with a starting bid of $5 million or a buy-it-now option of $15 million. When the original auction closed on May 14 with no bids, Kluge relisted the item the next day at the same price.

Lo and behold, the second sale found a buyer willing to pay the $15 million, without even bidding the lower amount. But unfortunately for Kluge and anyone who may have planned to bid, the purchase wasn’t legitimate.

It would have been a wonderful thing” if it had found a genuine buyer, Kluge told AFP by telephone, “but some 15-year-old kid bid on it (at $15 million) — and it’s not a legitimate bid.

Even though Kluge knew it was highly unlikely any 15-year-old could come up with the $15 million, per eBay rules he must allow a three-day waiting period to relist the item. The bidder, whose eBay user id is listed as n***r, is no longer a registered eBay user, in spite of having a 100-percent positive feedback rating. According to eBay, a member might not be registered because the account was suspended, or the member may have voluntarily closed the account.

It doesn’t appear Kluge ever seriously thought the recipe would sell, either. He told AFP he just wanted to draw attention to his treasure.

I can’t prove this is the original recipe. No one can because only two people (both executives of Coca-Cola) in the world know it,” he said.