Unearthed E.T. cartridges fetch more than $100,000

Atari's secret stash has made a killing on eBay with almost 900 cartridges sold

The stash of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial cartridges unearthed in the US last year has generated more than $100,000 in sales.

The New Mexico site where Atari dumped copies of perhaps its most famous failure was excavated in April 2014, the final proof that one of gaming's most famous myths was, in fact, true.

Since then, the man who made it happen, Joe Lewandowski, has sold 881 cartridges to buyers in the United States and beyond. In total, the combined sales amounted to just below $107,000. The highest price paid for one of the cartridges was $1,535.

The city of Alamogordo has received $65,000 from the sales, a figure that drew praise from city commissioner Nadia Sikes.

"I just want to take a moment to thank Joe Lewandowski for all the hard work. I wouldn't consider myself a real nay-sayer of what was going to transpire with the sale of the games but I have to say I am so impressed with what you've done," Sikes said to the Alamogordo Daily News. .

"Under no circumstances did I ever think you were going to sell over $60,000 worth of games."

There are now 297 cartridges remaining, following the donation of 23 to various museums and 100 to the company that made a documentary about the process.

Related stories

Optimism at Atari?

10 Years Ago This Month: With a high-profile hire, a new vision, and an anticipated Alone in the Dark reboot, gaming's original titan was poised for a comeback

By Brendan Sinclair

Atari launching two cryptocurrencies

Shares spike 52% after company unveils Atari Token and Pong, announces plans to allow cryptocurrencies in its gambling business

By Brendan Sinclair

Latest comments (4)

Gareth Martin Senior Programmer, Epic Games2 years ago
Probably a good opportunity to mention:
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
Joe Lewandowski, has sold 881 cartridges to buyers in the United States and beyond
Boy are they in for a terrible surprise once they actually sit down to play this game. They are going to demand refunds, the seller will get massive returns and we'll be able to start a whole new urban legend as these cartridges once again get buried in another landfill. Or better yet at sea if they know whats good for them.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
Well... they had more than 30 years to learn that E.T. is one of the worst games in history and a important factor in the Game Crash 83. Also if they want to pay so much money for something that has been buried under the desert for so much time... They are the only ones to blame if you ask me ;)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 2nd September 2015 8:36am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (4)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
@John: And if so, can Atari make a comeback because of E.T. now? Har and har.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.