‘Holy grail’ of video games valued at $38,000 bought at Goodwill for $8

The Sideshow

A North Carolina woman stumbled across a rare find when she purchased a 1980s video game from a Goodwill store for $8. That may not sound like a great deal. However, it turns out that the game, Family Fun Fitness: Stadium Events, may be worth as much as $38,000.

Video games are not like fine wine; their value diminishes rapidly with most gamers lucky to get a few dollars of store credit when trading in their used games.

Now, it may come as a surprise to some that a game released in 1986 for the original Nintendo Entertainment System is drawing such interest. The game currently has a $12,000 asking price on the site Game Gavel.

The game could have been worth more than that, but the copy was removed from its original packaging and appears to have been used. Still, there's no doubt it's an extremely rare find.

Journalist Katie Williams reports that the unnamed woman spotted "the holy grail" of games at the Goodwill store and recalled that a similar copy made news on Yahoo when it sold for more than $10,000 as part an eBay auction.

And how will she spend the money from the sale of the jackpot game?

“I’m graduating this coming May with my bachelor's degree in accounting, and the money from this unexpected find will allow us to pay off my student loans,” she told Game Gavel. “We’ve also been saving for just over a year for a down payment on a house, and if anything is left, it will go toward that goal.”

So, why is Stadium Events the most valuable video game in history?

Only 2,00o copies of the game were produced, with just 200 of those ever making it into the hands of customers before the game was recalled.

Stadium Events was part of a planned series of Family Fun Fitness titles produced by game manufacturer Bandai. The Family Fun Fitness controller was a pad connected to the NES, and users would run on top of the pad to operate a video game avatar, which competes in athletic competitions like sprinting, hurdles and long jumps.

Nintendo liked the idea of the Family Fun Fitness pad so much it bought the concept from Bandai and released it under its own banner as the Power Pad.

Eleven games were eventually released for the Power Pad, though none of them have proven to be nearly as valuable as the extremely rare Stadium Events.