Most people have to win an Academy Award. But apparently, you can buy one, too ... for about $80,000.
On Monday night, Briarbrook Auctions in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, sold an Oscar won by Joseph C. Wright in 1942 for best art direction for $79,200, more than double its original estimate.
Auctioneer Nanci Thompson spotted the Oscar while visiting the home of Wright's nephew to look at other items. Thompson told WPRI, "I saw something out of the corner of my eye and I said to him, 'Is that what I think it is?'"
The Oscar set a new sales record for the auction house, helped in large part due to out-of-house bidders.
"Some in-house bidders attempted to snag the trophy, but it ultimately came down to bids online and over the phone."
"Some very powerful names that I wish I could share with you, but I can't. But you would know who they are." (Via WNAC)
"A phone bid from California won the bidding. The bidder paid $79,200 that includes a 20 percent buyer's premium." (Via WJAR)
According to The Providence Journal, Oscars rarely come to market because every Oscar winner since 1950 has been required to sign a contract saying if they or their heirs wish to sell an Oscar, it must first be offered back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1.
Wright's Oscar was fair game because it was awarded before 1950. In total, Wright won two Oscars for art direction: the one that sold at auction for 1942's "My Gal Sal" and another for "This Above All" the same year.