It took a tourist 30 seconds to open a mysterious safe that had been locked for 40 years

Business Insider US
The man and the safe.

  • Two weeks ago Stephen Mills visited a museum in Canada with his family that contained an old safe that hadn't been opened in 40 years.
  • No one knew the combination to unlock, and it had long been considered permanently locked.
  • But Mills decided to give it a go anyway.
  • In less than a minute, he guessed the combination. People were shocked.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Two weeks ago, Stephen Mills visited a Vermilion Heritage Museum, a small museum featuring a look back at the history of the town of Vermilion, located in Alberta, Canada. The main attraction in the museum is a safe that remained locked for 40 years.

Mills, brought his wife, two children, and other family members to tour the museum - and take a look at the safe, according to the Washington Post.

The safe, CBC reported, came from the now-shuttered Brunswick Hotel in the town. The hotel closed in the 1970s and donated the safe to the museum in the 1990s. For years, the safe remained locked.

No one could remember the code - or what was in the safe. The locks had been deemed rusty and seized up. Museum volunteers had accepted that they would never know what was in the 2,000-pound safe.

"It was a mystery to us," tour guide Tom Kibblewhite said in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. "We didn't know what was in it. We couldn't get into it."

But Mills wanted to give it a go.

"I was like, I gotta get down and try this for a laugh," he told the Washington Post. "I was doing it as a joke for the kids, trying to be like in the movies, more or less."

He plugged in a series of numbers at random, according to the Washington Post. Mills saw that the range on the dial went from zero to 60, so he was inspired to plug in 20, then 40, then 60.

"I took the numbers out of thin air, like right out of my head," he said. "20 three times to the right, 40 two times to the left and 60 one time to the right, and tried the door and it cracked open."

People were astounded.

And after all that build up what was inside? Well, some paper and "a pile of dust," Mills told the Washington Post. Museum staff will disable the safe so it cannot be locked again.

Talk about a tourist trap!

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