A former phone card collector who put his obsession to rest in 1990 with the rise of cell phones, Mannix says he's collected almost every scratch card issued by the U.K.'s National Lottery since 1994. Some of the cards are used, donated to him by various retailers, and others he bought new. In fact, over the last 20 years, Mannix has spent $131,800 buying unscratched cards for his collection, which he lovingly stores in one room in his Cheshire home. Around 10,000 cards remain unscratched, and most have expired.
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It's not difficult to imagine how Mannix's wife, Sue, feels about her husband's hobby. "Every so often Sue looks at me angrily and asks me when am I going to get rid of them but she knows I've had a lot of fun collecting them," Mannix told the Daily Mail.
Surprisingly, Mannix doesn't work, due to a severe arthritis condition, making his missed opportunity for a potential windfall even more confusing. Nonetheless, Mannix has recently decided to put his beloved cards up for sale. He's asking for a little more than $800,000, despite his claims that their estimated worth is $8 million. Mannix hopes the next owner will scratch off all the cards so he can finally discover how much money he could have won.
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Mannix's resolve is undeniably impressive, but is his behavior a sign of hoarding or that of a true collector?
"Collectors are typically people who have an emotional connection to the item — maybe their grandparents owned it or the item reminds them of an event from their childhood, or they collect for personal enjoyment," Angela Becker, president of the Antiques and Collectibles National Association, tells Yahoo Shine. "In general, most collectors are able to define what the item means to them and the pleasure they receive from owning it."
Mannix isn't the only one with superhuman willpower. In September, Canadian Steve Thurber stumbled on a 106-year-old bottle believed to contain a message from 1906. Despite historians calling the odds of such a find "astronomical," Thurber declined to open the bottle, calling his discovery "unreal." He's also not the only person who collects unexpected things. Danny Fleming, 50, of Scotland, owns 105 sets of bagpipes in a collection believed to be worth $214,123 (his wife calls his hobby “ridiculous”), and Carol Vaughn, 65, a pensioner from Birmingham, U.K., owns more than 5,000 bars of soap from all over the world. While Vaugh says she “gets into lather” when she spots a new bar, she “wouldn’t dream of actually using the soap.”