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22-year-old found a 'holy grail' 'Zelda' game at home and it might sell for over $700,000—'It's really kind of a miracle'

Link, the protagonist from the "Legend of Zelda" series of games. 
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A sealed copy of 1987's "The Legend of Zelda" — which sold more than 6 million copies and spawned one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time — will be hitting the auction block this week.

The seller, a 22-year-old from California who goes by Kiro, and did not want us to use his full name for privacy reasons, tells CNBC Make it that the vintage game was in his family ever since it was purchased at now-defunct Fedco for $29.87 in 1987 — a figure equivalent to just over $80 today.

Kiro was no stranger to selling stuff online: he had made a few hundred bucks selling things like sneakers and Barbie dolls on eBay. But when he researched his "Zelda" game, he figured he'd be able to make a bit more than that.

"I looked at price history and thought 'Oh, maybe at most I'll get like $17,000 or $20,000 if I'm lucky,'" he says.

He put up the listing one night this past October and set the Buy It Now price at $17,000. Within minutes, his game had sold.

"I was like 'Yo, this is wild. There's no way I just sold it that fast,'" he tells Make It. A few minutes after that, another offer came in. He was soon fielding bids from a number of eager buyers.

"Multiple people were messaging me on eBay right away," he says. "One guy offered to drive down to where I was and give me $30,000 cash."

Kiro's family purchased "The Legend of Zelda" game for just $29.87 in 1987.
Heritage Auctions

Kiro quickly canceled the sale and took down his listing, realizing that he probably had something special on his hands.

That same night, he received a message from a collector who asked him if he'd be open to a phone call. The collector explained that Kiro's copy of "Zelda" was an extremely rare unit from the game's very first production run.

The fact that the item was still sealed made it the "holy grail" for video game collectors. In fact, the last time a first production run of "Zelda" was for sale, it went for $705,000, making it one of the most expensive video games ever sold.

The collector offered to put Kiro in touch with a grading service and an auction house specializing in collectible games.

"He genuinely just wanted to help," Kiro says. "He was excited about seeing this go to market and wanted me to get what it was worth."

Within two weeks, Kiro was flown out to Florida to have the game professionally graded, and then to Texas to meet with Heritage Auctions, which would be handling the sale.

"It's really kind of a miracle," he says. "Something in me told me to put it up that night. And within those few minutes of getting sold I got connected to the right person. I feel like without that guidance, I would have been somewhat lost."

The item will now headline Heritage's Video Games Signature Auction, which will take place from February 23-24.

While Kiro says he's "grateful for anything" the game brings in at auction, he'll be ready if it fetches a high six-figure sum.

"I sat down with a CPA," he says. "I will definitely not be spending it right away. It'll go into building long term wealth for myself and my family."

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