Life According to Brandi Passante of ‘Storage Wars’

This article was originally published on our sister site Living Magazine

Brandi Leigh Passante is a reality TV star best known for her appearance with Jarrod Schulz on Storage Wars, as well as her own show ‘Brandi and Jarrod: Married to the Job.’ She is a businesswoman and runs a secondhand store with her partner Jarrod. They have two kids, Camren and Payton Schulz. Passante became famous when she took part in the Storage Wars, just hoping to buy some storage units for their thrift store.

Brandon Sheets, Darrell Sheets, Barry Weiss, Dave Hester, Jarrod Schulz, and Brandi Passante are throwing money around in a promo shot from Storage Wars. / Brandi and Jarrod are posing together / Brandi and Jarrod behind the counter at the thrift shop. / Darrell Sheets, Brandi Passante, and Jarrod Schulz are standing in a crowd on Storage Wars.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services, Kobal, Shutterstock / Source: Twitter / YouTube / Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services, Kobal, Shutterstock

She and her husband were very good at it and ended up opening another shop in addition to the one they were already running. They got a spin-off of their which focuses on them and their family, but it only ran for eight episodes before it was canceled in 2014. Let’s take a look at the crazy ups and downs of her time on Storage Wars and how she got there in the first place.

Her Early Years

Brandi Passante was born on May 16th, 1980, in Harris, Texas. When it comes to her private life, there isn’t a lot of information out there. She doesn’t like to speak about that kind of stuff with the public or media. She moved to California at some point in her life. Even though we don’t know when she still says “y’all” when speaking.

Brandi Passante is sitting on her dad’s lap. / Brandi Passante’s family photo with Santa from when she was younger.

Source: Pinterest / Twitter

Passante wanted to become a chef when she was younger. She didn’t have any plans to go into reality TV. Schulz’s mother gave her the advice that it took for her to decide to get into the TV business, and it paid off. She appeared on TV a few years before Storage Wars when she was on Rachael Ray in 2006.

Life Before Reality-TV

Brandi Passante is a mother of two, and currently, her relationship status is up in the air. We will get more into that later on, though. She is a great mom and keeps her kids’ life more private. She spends a lot of time playing with them and making fun treats. Before starting on Storage Wars, she was a proud stay at home mom to her kids.

Brandi Passante was posing for a selfie.

Source: Pinterest

In an interview in 2013, she said, “I think I’m a better parent because I work,” Brandi says. “I used to be a stay at home mom, and it was very difficult for me. I love my kids, but I felt alienated and depressed when I didn’t have a career, so I think I’m a better parent because I work. I’m happier because of it.”

Stay at Home Mom

So, what is her secret for being a mom with a successful career? Brandy explained that they don’t have a lot of family members close by and usually relied on neighbors and friends of Jarrod to help out when they were first starting out. Brandi said, “If there’s a formula, I haven’t figured it out yet!”

Brandi and Jarrod posing on their steps for a family photo.

Source: Flickr

“Now we can afford to hire some help,” she said towards the end of her time with Storage Wars. “I work all the time, so I need someone to assist with the day-to-day stuff, but I do try to make time for the kids. In fact, we are going to Universal Studios in a few days. Oh – also, I rely heavily on caffeine to make it through the day!” So, I guess we have our answer to the question: caffeine.

Brandi’s Career

The first job that Brandi Passante ever had was as a carpet cleaner in 1999. This was when she met her partner, Jarrod Schulz. The two ended up opening their first business called ‘Now and Then,’ a thrift shop in Orange, California. After she took Schulz’s mother’s advice, she started appearing on Storage Wars, trying to buy some useful stuff for her shop at good prices.

Brandi and Jarrod at an event with an ice sculpture in the background.

Source: Twitter

The show would auction storage locker items from people who didn’t pay their rent for at least three months. After hearing this, the show feels a bit sad, and you kind of feel bad for the people who owned it before. But Passante was great at it and was famous by the end of the show. The show led to some great opportunities for her, like opening a second location of ‘Now and Then’ and starring in their own reality TV show.

Traveling Long Distances

Brandi suffers from motion sickness, along with a huge percentage of the world. Passante even gets motion sickness during simple road traveling. This is called kinetosis, and it happens when your sensory organs send mixed signals, which cause the people to be nauseous or dizzy. It’s hard for a reality TV star like Passante.

Brandi and Jarrod were sitting in the car traveling.

Source: YouTube

A lot of the show consists of her sitting in a car traveling and doing interviews. She has had kinetosis for years but has never had to take such long road trips before. She usually takes the backseat but warns everyone not to sit near her. If I were her, I would want to sit in the front seat, close my eyes, and not do interviews in the car.

Escalaphobia

Escalaphobia is a common fear, and it affects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. One of the most useful inventions is an escalator, making it easier to go up and down floors without having to put the time and energy into steps. However, it isn’t for Brandi. She suffers from escalaphobia. Some experts say that it can come from already having a fear of heights.

Brandi Passante was hanging out with Samantha Busch.

Source: Instagram

This was brought up in an interview, and Passante mentioned she must “hold my breath every time I am on one.” She went as far as to tell us that the reason behind her fear is that she thinks that the escalator will eat her toes. That does make a bit of sense, though. I think of that whenever I see a repairman fixing an escalator with the panels open.

All the Rumors

There was a rumor going around, and photos spread that Brandi used to work as a stripper at different clubs and bars. She was asked in an interview about her personal life, and she said something that made me feel like this is definitely a rumor, and there was no way she would have done it with her personality type.

Brandon Sheets, Darrell Sheets, Barry Weiss, Dave Hester, Jarrod Schulz, and Brandi Passante were throwing money around in a promo shot from Storage Wars.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services / Kobal / Shutterstock

She said, “This may come as a surprise to some people, but I’m actually a very shy person. I even get anxiety when I have to go out to the store or to the gas station because I’m afraid of people approaching me. I was even shy as a child.” I don’t know about you, but I think this is just a crazy rumor.

She Doesn’t Want Her Kids to Follow in Her Footsteps

A lot of times, parents want their kids to follow in their footsteps with business ventures. They want to show their kids how things work and experience it live. It’s like building an empire within the family, involving them to engrave these things in their brains for when they own the company. But that isn’t the case for Brandi.

Brandi, Jarrod, and their kids are posing dressed up for a photo.

Source: Twitter

She was asked in an interview about having her two children follow in her and Jarrod’s footsteps taking over the business when they are older, and she responded, “Lord, I hope not!” according to inquirer.net. Schulz agrees with her and doesn’t think the kids should be in such a tough industry. They want their children to create their own path and not follow in their footsteps.

Brandi Has A Great Memory

Even though she was very focused on being a reality TV star and the thrift shop business with Jarrod, she makes sure to get out and have a good time. She is an ambitious, career-oriented woman and loves what she does. It helps that she is good at it also. But this isn’t the only thing that’s on her mind.

Brandi being interviewed with Jarrod in 2011.

Source: Flickr

Passante likes to collect little bits of random information and has a ton of fun facts stored away in her brain. She said once that all the fun information is mostly useless and irrelevant to real-life situations, but it can come in handy. Not only can it come in handy when there are awkward silences in conversations or dead air at a dinner party, but it can also win a few rounds of trivia at a local bar.

Brandi Is A Great Cook

Brandi Passante is an Italian woman who loves cooking. She wanted to be a chef when she was growing up. Of course, you can see that this has changed, but she still thinks that in another life, she could have been a chef. Passante is Sicilian, basically making her an expert at cooking a variety of recipes, including chicken stroganoff.

Brandi and Jarrod on the Rachael Ray show.

Source: rachaelrayshow.com

She also makes chicken a lot in her soups and potpies. Jarrod Schulz loves that Passante can cook. He loves even more that she introduced him to new dishes that became favorites. Schulz commented that he used to eat to live, but when he met Brandi, things changed. She served him delicious meals, and he appreciates and enjoys each one of them.

Storage Wars Found Jarrod

Before Storage Wars, Brandi didn’t know anything about storage unit auctions. Since she started, though, she really proved that she’s a value to her team. She had to learn a lot since the show started, but she picked up on things really quickly. Before the show, when Jarrod was unemployed, he began to go to auctions.

Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz in 2010 posing for a photo on Storage Wars.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services / Kobal / Shutterstock

His aunt managed a storage facility, and that’s how he got introduced. He was in Harbor City at an auction one day when Storage Wars approached him and asked him to be in the show. The show didn’t know about Passante yet, so they first gave the spot to Jarrod. But we all know how that turned out in the end…

Business Savvy Brandi

Jarrod Schulz was approached to be on Storage Wars while at an auction outbidding other people. The staff came up to him asking to be on the show, and to film him working at his new store, Now and Then, for part of the first episode. Brandi Passante was there as well, and she was walking around helping customers.

Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz were standing behind Dave Hester and Barry Weiss in front of some storage units.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services / Kobal / Shutterstock

Of course, she made sure to show up overdressed and ready. The producers ended up asking Jarrod if they can include Passante in the shots, and he responded, “Do you think she wore that dress for nothing?” Things wouldn’t have been the same if this situation worked out differently. Can you imagine a show with only one of the two on it?

Court with Hunter Moore

Brandi took someone to court who she never met, but she had a real reason to. Someone staged an adult film and claimed that Passante was the star in it. A man named Hunter Moore distributed and falsified a film and pictures claiming that they were the Storage Wars star. Due to the nature of the crime, it was taken seriously. He was charged with identity theft and security breach, and Passante requested $2.5 million in damages.

Brandi Passante was walking down the hallway with the cast of Storage Wars.

Source: Pinterest

While the judge did rule in Passante’s favor, he didn’t agree with what she was asking for. He awarded her with only $750 and made Moore pay her court fees. She successfully got the site shut down and the photos removed, but once it is put out there, it doesn’t go away. It isn’t possible to ever remove something fully that was shared online.

Relationship with Jarrod Schulz

Brandi met Schulz in 1999 at the carpet cleaning company she worked with. Jarrod claims that Brandi was the first one to make a move on him and approached him. Passante, of course, says that this is not how it happened. The couple has been together for about 20 years and has two kids together. However, they are not married.

Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante at a red-carpet event in 2011.

Photo by Henry Lamb / Photowire / BEI / Shutterstock

Schulz proposed to Passante on their spin-off show in 2016, and she even tried on wedding dresses in one of the episodes, but they never ended up getting married. Maybe it was because the show didn’t continue, but they do talk about how they feel that their relationship is strong enough that they don’t need to put a label on it.

Jarrod is a Former Felon

Brandi and Jarrod paint a sweet story where they work hard to earn their keep and don’t make any hasty business decisions. Passante is known for keeping things stable and calming down Schulz’s energy. This is all painting a great picture of them, but not everything is as it seems. Before they met, between 1997 and 1999, Jarrod Schulz was arrested for transporting narcotics and possessing a controlled substance, along with a DUI.

Jarrod was going through a storage unit on the show in 2010.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services / Kobal / Shutterstock

He was in state prison, serving a 16-month sentence for those crimes. The couple likes to keep their private life private, but this is something that Passante has accepted and learned to embrace. Everyone has a past, some worse than others. What matters is what you do next in life.

Brandi Wears Minimal Makeup

Women usually don’t leave the house without a bit of mascara and maybe some lipstick… at least. I can’t even think about going down the street to the food store to pick up milk without mascara on. Now forget about just women, anyone on TV wears make up for the camera, including straight men. It’s just how things are done.

Brandi Passante on the red-carpet in 2012.

Photo by Erik Pendzich / Shutterstock

Being a reality TV star, you would think that she would be used to wearing more makeup, but she does not wear lipstick and wear very minimal makeup on the rest of her face. She calls her lips “chicken lips” and says that it makes her look ridiculous. So, Passante flaunts her natural beauty, something we all wish that we could do proudly.

Staying in Shape

Brandi Passante spoke about staying in shape in an interview once. Someone asked her how, and she revealed that Schulz has been watching his cholesterol. Because of this, the two of them have been eating a lot healthier. She said that she also used to do Pilates all the time, waking up at 5 am. But she ended up staying up extra late doing laundry and finishing things around the house that she was exhausted the next day.

Brandi Passante was working out.

Source: YouTube

Now, she just focuses on eating healthier and staying busy all day as exercise. She admitted, “I try to keep my weight down because the television makes you look heavier. A complete stranger told me last night that I looked bigger on television than I did in person, but I didn’t take it as a compliment!” Well, I think she looks great.

Are Items in The Units Staged?

If you have ever watched Storage Wars, I’m sure this question has gone through your mind. Were these items really in that storage unit before they opened it up? Well, you’re not the only one who had that question. Dave Hester, a star on Storage Wars, filed a lawsuit against the show because he believed that the special items found in the units were staged. There is a rumor that Brandi and Jarrod knew about this and that they even encouraged it.

Brandi Passante and Jarrod Schulz were looking through stuff in a storage unit.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services / Kobal / Shutterstock

The couple denied doing anything like that. A&E is the company where their show broadcasted, and they put out a statement regarding this on ABC News saying, “There is no staging involved. The items uncovered in the storage units are the actual items featured on the show.” Whether or not the items are staged, fans don’t really seem to care as people kept watching it.

Brandi’s Stores Keep Closing

Working on Storage Wars isn’t the only way these two made money. We heard that they have a thrift shop called ‘Now and Then,’ but the couple has opened multiple thrift shops in California since they met. Not all of them have lasted very long. Their rivals, Pawn Stars, seem to be doing well.

Brandi and Jarrod behind the counter at the thrift shop.

Source: YouTube

However, the Now and Then Thrift Sore had a few locations that they had to shut down in the end due to a lack of customers. This couple makes it easy to find such rare pieces, but their buyers are just as rare. It could be that it is California, and it is more expensive to run a business. But even with those few failed stores, Brandi and Jarrod are doing really well for themselves.

Brandi Hates Golf

When you think of businessmen and women, one of the first things that pop into mind is doing business at the golf course. Who doesn’t handle their business at the golf course? Some of the most successful people make sure to have a set of clubs so that they can be ready to impress at any time.

Brandi Passante was sitting on the floor behind a set of golf clubs found in a storage unit.

Source: YouTube

This stereotype is far from stereotypical for Brandi, and she admits that she really doesn’t like golf. She event went on to say that it is the most infuriating sport that there is. Passante said she hates the idea of hitting a white ball down a long piece of green land. She also admits that she isn’t the best at it, and maybe will never be. Can you really blame her, though?

Net Worth is $2.5 Million

Currently, Brandi Passante’s net worth is approximately $2.5 million. She required most of this from Storage Wars and the rest of it afterward through her secondhand store. She really prepared herself the perfect platform for promoting her businesses and becoming a famous reality star and ended up gaining more fame and money than they ever could have imagined.

Brandi and Jarrod on stage.

Source: Twitter

She went from working in their secondhand store and built up to running the storage firm successfully. Not only does she earn from her other businesses, but her Brandi Passante store was made popular on her show. This Queen has flawlessly executed her roles as a businesswoman, mother, wife, and celebrity. Passante and Schulz are living luxurious and happy lives together with their two kids.

Hester’s Lawsuit

I mentioned earlier that Dave Hester had a lawsuit filed against A&E, which claimed that they would stage items inside of storage containers for the content of the show. Well, that is just a small part of the story. Hester filed the lawsuit claiming that he was wrongfully terminated, accused them of unfair business practices, and a breach of contract. Hester accused them of firing him for complaining about fake storylines to production.

Dave Hester and Barry Weiss were conversing on Storage Wars.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Services / Kobal / Shutterstock

At one point, the judge ruled against Hester, claiming he wasn’t specific enough and threw out the case. But he left the option open for him to refile with more specific accusations, basically saying bring me a better case and I’ll give it to you. He refiled the lawsuit in 2014 and ended up settling, and he rejoined the show a bit after. The amount was undisclosed, but I’m sure he’s comfortable.

Possible Plastic Surgery

The lawsuit, which was mentioned earlier where Hester sued the show for planting items, made a few allegations against the show. One of them that he mentions in the suit is that someone allegedly underwent plastic surgery to give the show a bit more sex appeal. He even goes on to claim that the show paid the bill for the surgery.

Brandi Passante on the red carpet in 2011.

Source: Shutterstock

There weren’t many female cast members at the time, and as you can guess, a lot of people suspected that he was referring to Brandi Passante. The thought of a show about storage units paying for a cast member to get plastic surgery doesn’t sound so plausible. But then again, the response that they got avoided saying much about it. So, who knows what really happened here in the end.

First Amendment

During this lawsuit, Storage Wars claimed that they were protected from any accusations of fake storytelling by the First Amendment. The judge on the case agreed with them and claimed that they have the freedom of free speech. If anyone out there is watching these reality TV shows for their honesty, then you’re in for a shock here. This is a big red flag and basically proves that things are staged.

Brandi was pointing, and Jarrod was standing around on Storage Wars.

Source: Pinterest

The judge categorized reality TV as “expressive free speech,” so they didn’t have any legal expectation for authentic information. This means that the producers can do what they want and run the show; however, they feel it is entertaining for viewers. This actually makes me think of the show Unreal, which is a drama about what producers will go through behind the scenes of a reality show.

Writers on The Show

Another rumor that floated around for a bit was that writers were employed as cast members to help get other cast members talking using different. This was more specifically helpful during one-on-one interviews when they needed to get someone to share their stories. If I were on this show, I would probably just take one look at the producer, asking me questions, and freeze up.

The cast members of Storage Wars in 2011 standing at a network event.

Source: Shutterstock

I get it; it’s had to narrate what’s happening, especially with all of the commotions from shooting a TV series. Some cast members have trouble even talking, but these aren’t professionals. They aren’t used to being in front of a camera, but I think it should be taken as a red flag. This show really isn’t based on reality.

Creating A Crowd

Everyone wants their viewers to think that they had a huge turn out and that situations are more dramatic than they really are. Well, this show found another way to dramatize things with this next rumor from Hester’s lawsuit. People started talking about how the bidding process is also filmed in a fake way.

Darrell Sheets, Brandi Passante, and Jarrod Schulz were standing in a crowd on Storage Wars.

Photo by Cinema Vehicle Service / Kobal / Shutterstock

Hester claimed, “While on location filming an auction, Defendants also film footage of the cast members and the public bidding when no actual auction is taking place.” I could definitely believe that they are doing this. The editors can throw in some unused clips of bidders and make the show seem more intense. It makes sense in a way, but this is just another reason why reality TV isn’t so realistic.

Hester’s Life-Changing Moment

Dave Hester wasn’t always a thrift shop owner and has an interesting story about how he got where he is now. Hester was actually convicted of a DUI in 2005, and part of his sentence included community service at the local Goodwill store. He would take in the donations and organize them before helping sell them for a profit.

Dave Hester at an event in 2011.

Photo by Henry Lamb / Photowire / BEI / Shutterstock

He took an unfortunate situation and made a life out of it. He was fascinated by buying and selling used items for a profit and just loved his new job. After completing all of his community services, he took his old furniture store and flipped it into a successful thrift shop. The rest of his story is played out on Storage Wars.

Antiques Roadshow

The original antique appraisal show was Antiques Roadshow, and their executive producer Marsha Bemko had a lot to say about Storage Wars. She responded to questions with, “Storage Wars is merely an entertainment show that adds more interest in Antiques Roadshows’ more honest appraisal process.”

Marsha Bemko, Brian Witherell, Leila Dunbar, and David Rago on the Antiques Roadshow panel.

Photo by David Buchan / Variety / Shutterstock

The appraisers that work with Antiques Roadshow don’t have a stake in the buying and selling of the items there, so they tend to be more honest and accurate. She added, “Is it really reasonable to think that someone on ‘Storage Locker Wars’ is going to find a $100,000 item that somebody left in a storage locker?” I guess now we really know how this original show thinks about its competition.

Are They Getting A Divorce?

Well, let’s start by saying they weren’t even married, just in a serious long-term relationship. Recent rumors suggest that Jarrod Schulz and Brandi Passante are getting a divorce. If anything, they are separating and splitting their lives up. There hasn’t been any confirmation, but Brandi changed her second name to Leigh on Instagram and changed it back recently.

Brandi and Jarrod posing together.

Source: Twitter

Some people are saying that she has been posting more provocative photos and not uploading anything with Schulz, but the two can be laying low because of something else. It was reported that in July of 2019, Jarrod was arrested and charged with resisting an officer, and rumors spread that he was going to be arraigned in September, but any update on this story has been hidden from us. I guess we’ll have to keep our eye out for any new news.

Now that we have covered the story of Brandi Passante, let’s get a bit more into the other people and crazy drama over the years starting with the storage war king himself, Dan.

The Storage War King

The star of Storage Wars, Dan Dotson, has been something of a legend in the auctioneering world over the last few decades. Dan has been a big part of the hit series since day one. Throughout the years, he’s seen it all, opening storage units and auctioning off some amazing finds.

Source: YouTube

However, he recently stumbled upon something truly remarkable and it could easily have come straight out of a gangster film. While attending the “Cars, Stars and Rock N’ Roll” charity event in Indio, California, Dan Dotson heard a remarkable story. And it all started at a charity event.

It Started With a Charity Event

The Storage Wars host noticed a woman was staring at him from the other end of the room. Eventually, she approached him. And what she told him left him speechless. Dan Dotson posted a video on Twitter, basically telling the story that the woman told him at the charity event.

Source: YouTube

He said in the video: “An older Asian woman at the table next to me kept looking at me like she wanted to tell me something.” “[She said that] ‘My husband works for a guy and he bought a unit from you for $500 and it had a safe in it.’”

A Remarkable Story

In order to really understand the significance of the whole story, you need to know a little bit about the man behind it.  And we’ll start by saying that Dotson isn’t your average Joe. For about 50 years, Dan has been deeply involved in the auctioneering industry. Lately, he’s been running American Auctioneers with his wife, Laura. Auctioneering seems to be Dotson’s true calling. He lives and breathes it. Dotson used to watch his grandfather work as a farm auctioneer in the 70s and thus developing a passion for the profession at an early age.

Source: YouTube

When he was only 11, his grandfather taught him the art of auctioneering during the summers. He became so immersed in the auction culture that he even compromised his own education, selling furniture for auctioneer Merl Bernard instead.

Little did he know what his future had in store for him.

He Started an Empire

While the 70s was dedicated to developing a passion for auctioneering, the 80s was the decade that he mastered the art of it. In 1983, Dotson started his very own auctioneering company and launched American Auctioneers. Dan’s net worth is $4.5 million. Compare that to the average auctioneer who earns about $46,000 per year. And Dotson’s reputation as TV’s most famous auctioneer earns him something around $300,000 per year.

Source: YouTube

But aside from that, Dotson also ran auction houses, selling all kinds of things like porcelain dolls to furniture. American Auctioneers has stayed true to Dan’s vision ever since its inception. The company focuses heavily on estates, equipment, storage units, and business inventories. The company also organizes fundraisers and appraisals. They average about 12 auctions per week.

And none of it would be possible without a certain special someone.

Meet Laura Dotson

Dan and Laura Dotson have always been very close but they weren’t always business partners. Before meeting Dan, Laura was running restaurants. She loved both food and people. Laura wanted to open a restaurant that would make the best pizza in town. And in 1993, when she was starting the process, she went looking for pizza-making equipment. And fate would have it…

Source: YouTube

And fate would have it that while shopping for pizza equipment, the entrepreneur met fellow business starter, Dan Dotson. Laura met Dan when he was selling a restaurant and all its contents. Laura thought that Dan was just trying to get her attention to sell things to her, but Dan claims that he was actually flirting with her. The two were inseparable ever since.

She Made Him into a Star

Dan Dotson wasn’t famous until about a decade ago. It was only when Laura realized how charismatic the auctioneer was that she told him to record his antics on video.

Source: YouTube

So Dan set up a YouTube channel and began posting videos of himself. And then one day, TV producer Thom Beers showed up at one of Dan’s auctions and the rest is history. It was the start of a real journey!

A Challenging Moment

Laura and Dan had to deal with a challenging moment back in 2014. One early morning, Dan woke up asking “weird questions” while asleep.

Source: YouTube

When he woke up a few hours later, Dan fell to the ground and he was rushed to the hospital. He suffered a double aneurysm. Laura had to perform CPR on her husband. He later went through surgery and was on his way to recovery.

A Hit Reality Show

Over the next few years, Storage Wars became one of the most popular reality TV shows with millions of viewers. While the show has a reputation for being quite troublesome, most viewers believe the show wouldn’t be the same without Dan and Laura.

Source: YouTube

In 2015, Examiner.com wrote: “Thom Beers came up with the idea for Storage Wars, but Dan and Laura Dotson inspired it.” And one day, he would discover something he would never have imagined.

The Craziest Discovery of His Career

Fast forward to the woman who approached Dan. She told him of her friend that bought a storage unit from him for just $500. But that’s not the strange part. What’s unbelievable is what her friend found inside the unit.

Source: YouTube

The woman at the charity event had to remind Dotson of his sale. Of all the storage units he’s auctioned off on the show, it wasn’t easy to recall every sale he made. But it ended up coming back to haunt him. Dotson soon realized that he completely overlooked something inside the storage unit.

What’s in the Safe?

In the Twitter video that Dan posted, he revealed what the woman had told him. She said that her friend had purchased the unit and later found a mysterious safe. They obviously had to find out what was inside the safe. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, they couldn’t manage to open it up. So they called a professional.

Source: YouTube

The woman is still telling this story to Dan. She continued to tell him that even the professional locksmith couldn’t open the safe. “The first person they called to open the safe, I guess, couldn’t, or didn’t,” Dotson said. But they didn’t want to give up. “So they called a second person…” And that’s when the surprise came.

They Finally Opened It

The woman’s friend then called yet another professional to come and open the safe, and this time it actually worked!

Source: YouTube

“They called a second person and when that person opened it up. Inside the safe, they’re normally empty, but this time it wasn’t empty…”

$7.5 Million

Dan Dotson’s life flashed before his eyes as this woman told him that they found $7.5 million inside the safe! Dotson had to ask her to repeat what she said to make sure he heard her right.

Source: YouTube

That’s right, $7.5 million was stashed inside a storage unit that he bought from the auctioneer for $500. Clearly, Dotson was left without words.

Straight Out of a Gangster Movie

Dotson couldn’t find the words to react to what she told him. In all his years of auctioneering, he never comes across this amount of money. When he was in the storage unit, he overlooked the money completely. And he was quite distressed by the news. Can you imagine being in his shoes? And imagine being the man who found it!

Source: Ninja Journalist

The photos that were posted on Facebook of the find, with all the stacks of cash, it looked like it was on the set of a gangster movie… After getting in touch with the buyer of his storage unit, who remains anonymous, Dotson revealed the story to the public. And that’s when people started asking questions.

How did $7.5 million Even End Up There?

In their video, Dan and Laura tried to work out how something like this could happen. “I don’t think you would forget that you have $7.5 million inside a unit,” he said. Laura had theories as to why. “Credit card went bad, it was finished, they moved away, perhaps the person went to jail. Who knows what it was?” she said. The signs were pointing to one thing…

Source: YouTube

Everyone was curious as to the origins of the cash. Rene Nezhoda, a thrift store owner who also worked on Storage Wars, believes that it must be a result of some illicit activity. “If you find money like that, there’s probably a reason it isn’t in the bank,” he said. But they couldn’t prove anything and could only use the information they had, which wasn’t a lot.

Finding the Previous Owner

They eventually found the previous owner of the storage unit. And he had to hear that what was once his is now legally in the hands of someone else. And unsurprisingly, the previous owner contact their attorney, with the hopes of getting their money back. Would they manage to argue their way back to their money?

Source: YouTube

The previous owner was ready to negotiate with the current owner, looking to reach some sort of deal. It was a matter of how much to offer them that would be in their interest. They ended up offering the current owner $600,000 in exchange. But as you may guess, the current owner wasn’t so happy to hear that the previous owner of the $7.5 million suddenly came out of nowhere.

They Declined the Offer

The new owner declined the offer. Surprise surprise! And the reality of it is that the current owner was well within their rights to decline. It was all fair game. They indeed made a business transaction in which they purchased an item (or a unit with items in it) for a price and as a result, became the new owners of the items.

Source: YouTube

The previous owners came back with a second offer. This time, they doubled it and offered $1.2 million instead. So the new owner would essentially give $6.3 million to the previous owner. Dan and Laura thought about what they would do themselves if they were involved in the legal dispute.

What Would He Do?

When asked if he would take the $1.2 million, Dan admitted that he would say yes to the deal. And he said it’s mostly because he wouldn’t wanna go through the trouble of further negotiations. “I wouldn’t ask a damn thing,” he said. “$7.5 million is a lot of money…but that’s a lot of running, too.”

Source: YouTube

The public got involved, as it always does. Someone wrote the following: “If they had that much money, why didn’t they pay for the storage unit? Why would you put money in there anyway?” Another person wrote. “I’d keep it! Why the hell didn’t they claim it, why the hell would they let it sit until someone bought the locker?” The two parties eventually reached a decision…

He Took the Money

At the end of the day, the current owner decided to accept the third offer. He received an amount just under $1.5 million as part of the deal. While it may be seen as a loss, the person still came out of the situation rich! If you thought that was a crazy story about a deal gone bad, or good rather, you’re definitely going to like the next one.

Source: YouTube

The world of auctions is one in which taking risks is a huge part of the game. It’s essentially a form of gambling – you never really know if what you buy is going to be worth something big. But this story about a man who bought a photo at a thrift shop for a measly $2 ended up making the best purchase of his life! And you’ll see why…

One’s Loss is Another’s Gain

One sure thing is that there are two sides to every story. And while this discovery could prove to be a life-changing sum of money for the anonymous buyer, we also have to think about the person who lost the money. Could it be that one person’s loss will prove to be another person’s gain in this story? What Dotson would soon learn was that there was one more crucial chapter left to be told…

Source: YouTube

When all was said and done, the current owner of the $7.5 million decided to accept the first owner’s offer. What was essentially a reward for holding onto the money, the person then received just under $1.5 million as part of the deal. While he may have considered this a loss, the anonymous individual still came out of the situation a very rich man. However, there was still a very important detail to take away from this remarkable story…

Dan’s Going to Be Fine

Dotson might feel like he missed a big opportunity with that goldmine of a storage unit. But, based on his huge $4.5 million net worth, we can’t see him having too many financial issues anytime soon. While the average auctioneer is estimated to earn about $46,000 per year, Dan Dotson’s reputation as TV’s most famous auctioneer means that he’s earning somewhere around $300,000 per year. And it appears that the apple may not fall too far from the tree…

Source: YouTube

It looks like Dan and Laura’s son Garrett Dotson might just follow in the footsteps of his superstar parents. Since 2008, when he was just 10 years old, Garrett did a bit of auctioneering of his own when he put up his dirtbike for auction. While his parents don’t pressure him to join them in the auctioneering game, it seems that Garrett has an unbreakable passion for all things car-related and works for Stance Show Off.

They’re All Happy

In the end, everyone involved took away something that heavily benefited them. The previous owner got most of their money back, the current owner still came out of the deal rich, and Dotson ended up with an awesome story that would go completely viral!

Source: YouTube

The Storage Warsman ended up receiving thousands of likes and comments on social media for his posts and it came just before the new season of Storage Wars.