An unopened copy of the 1985 Nintendo classic Super Mario Bros. sold for $660,000 in an online auction Friday, shattering the previous $156,000 auction record for a video game, set by a 1990 copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 last November.
In a 13-bidder contest, $550,000 went to the seller and a $110,000 “Buyers’ Premium” to Heritage Auctions, the Dallas auction house that oversaw the sale.
The original owner told Heritage that the game was bought as a Christmas gift and sat untouched in a desk drawer for 35 years before being discovered. “It stayed in the bottom of my office desk this whole time since the day I bought it,” the seller said. “I never thought anything about it.”
According to Heritage, the pristine copy of Super Mario Bros. was given a 9.6/A+ grade by the video game grading company Wata, making it the “finest copy known to have been professionally graded for auction.”
“As soon as this copy of Super Mario Bros. arrived at Heritage, we knew the market would find it just as sensational as we did,” Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie said. “Even so, the degree to which this game was embraced outside the market has been nothing short of exceptional, and that aspect of this sale has certainly exceeded our expectations. Though, I suppose we can’t be too shocked; who doesn’t love Mario?”
Super Mario Bros. wasn’t the only original Nintendo game that made noise at the auction. A copy of Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! was sold for $102,000, while Mega Man and Tetris went for $144,000 and $36,000, respectively.