EUGENE, Ore. -- As cars trickled into the RV Corral lot to see Roosevelt Middle School's Mystery Safe cracked, it was clear that many Eugene residents felt whatever was found inside the safe Tuesday evening was worth waiting for.
For some at the event, pondering what the cast-iron antique contained started over a week ago when Peter Pomponi donated the locked safe to Roosevelt MS, his daughter Isabel's school.
He found the safe while renovating his farmhouse in Grants Pass three years ago.
"I heard something that sounded like a clunk, metallic, maybe something like a chain ... so we heard something slide and clunk," Peter told KVAL News.
We asked our KVAL viewers what they thought was inside the Mystery Safe on our Facebook page.
"I say they find an old newspaper, a handwritten letter, and some toy cars or D.B. Cooper's backpack," Sara from Cottage Grove said.
"How old is the safe?" asked Lance of Springfield. "Remember that bank deposits were not insured before the FDIC was created. Back then, some people kept their savings in a safe. My great great grandfather lived on a farm. When his safe was opened after he died, it was full of $20 solid gold coins."
Many others suggested that it would either contain the deed to the farmhouse or something illegal.
School officials opened up an online auction for the safe as a feature item in the school's fundraiser and silent auction held last Friday, April 26.
Students at Roosevelt Middle School were so inspired by the mystery safe that a group decided to thy and get a piece of the action. After pooling their resources, 128 students placed a bid of $2330 on the safe.
While the students put forward an impressive effort, two local businesses rallied community members over the airwaves to collect money for the school. The combined forces of All Comedy 1450 Radio and The RV Corral placed a bid of $4415 to win the auction.
A spokesman for the winning team announced to the crowd of students gathered around the safe that they would have to wait even longer to find out what the safe contained, as they wanted to host the opening for all their listeners who were equally intrigued.
On Tuesday night, dozens came out to the RV Corral on Highway 99 to finally discover what was inside the mystery safe.
It took a locksmith from Eugene Lock and Safe just 10 minutes of intently listening to the door tumblers to spin the correct combination.
As a DJ from All Comedy slowly pulled back the handle, a hush fell over the crowd.
It was followed by a collective groan as people found the safe was completely empty, save the two safe drawers that became dislodged and fell to the bottom.
While the buyers might not have been satisfied by the safe's contents, they were happy to know that the money from their purchase went to a good cause. All the proceeds from the Roosevelt auction went to fund educational programs and staffing for the middle school.