Man buys apartment after windfall from $27 purchase of forgotten bitcoins

In 2009 a Norweigian man working on a masters thesis that covered the network encryption currency decided to make a throw away purchase on $27 of bitcoins, an investment he forgot about and now finds is worth $886,000.

This past April Christopher Koch recalled his purchase when the media picked up on the bitcoin phenomenon, he told NRK.com (from Google Translate).

Koch said he became anxious when he repeatedly tried to retrieve his password and see if the bitcoins were on his computer. When he finally entered the right combination, he discovered he had 5,000 bitcoins on his hard drive.

Koch is spending part of the money on a three-room apartment in Toyen, an upper-end enclave in Oslo. The purchase will only set him back $196,170, just one-fifth of his windfall.

The news post about Koch on Reddit solicited some comments from people who are trying to retrieve the bitcoins off their own computers. Here's the top comment from MantiWhore:

I had my wallet file on a flash drive.

I lost that flash drive.

I had 40 or so bitcoins on it.

I really want to find that flash drive.

Prologue: I built my first gaming rig and had crossfired 6970's. Then I learned about bitcoin and started mining in pools. Had my pool auto-cash-out and slowly earned about 40 or so bitcoins. At the time they were like a dollar or two, i think. My buddy who I got into mining with me went on to make ALOT of money off bitcoins, and he now has a couple thousand dollars in ASIC miners. I was reformatting my raid array as I had just bought a new SSD for boot, so I moved the wallet to my flashdrive. I forgot to move it back.

There is also this deep regret from thndrchld who also had an early look at bitcoin, like Koch, but in this instance decided to pass:

You're sad?

I had the option to by 10,000 of them for $200 when one of my customers at my old job needed money for his computer repair.

I thought they were going to be worthless and passed.