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Rare NES game sells for $35,100 in eBay auction

Have a look down the back of your sofa, in the garage and in the attic — if you have the right 1980s game cartridge stashed away somewhere, then you might be in for a tidy windfall. An extremely rare copy of the Nintendo game Stadium Events, still sealed in its original packaging, has been sold for $35,100 in an eBay auction this week.

Why the high price? It’s believed that only 200 copies of the game were ever made, a number that will have dwindled further in the years since it was first released in the U.S. in 1987. In fact, it’s recognized by collectors as the rarest game in existence for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), even if the gameplay — a series of Olympic track and field events — is nothing special. It was originally designed to work with the Family Fun Fitness mat accessory.

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We don’t know much about the seller beyond his eBay username, but GameSpot has revealed he is an ex-Nintendo employee who has had the game stashed away for decades. Apparently it wasn’t until a different copy of Stadium Events was auctioned off for a significant sum that he realized what he had might be very valuable — and once he left Nintendo after 22 years he decided to cash in on his game.

As is often the case in these high-profile rarity auctions, several fraudulent bids had to be cleared away before the final $35,100 figure was reached. We don’t know how the seller plans to spend the proceeds of the auction, but it’s a generous markup for a title that would’ve originally sold for around $30. The cartridge has been verified as genuine by the Video Game Authority and placed inside a special protective case to guard against ultraviolet light.