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Posted: October 14, 2015

$2 junk-store find turns out to be $5M Billy the Kid photo

By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

FRESNO, Calif. —

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Talk about a bargain.

In 2010, collector Randy Guijarro bought three old photos at a Fresno, California, junk shop, according to KFSN-TV. One of the images – a black-and-white country scene of people playing croquet – really jumped out at him.

"So I picked it back up and said, 'It's got a hole on top, kind of beat up,'" he told KFSN. "OK, so I got those three photographs for 2 bucks."

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It turns out that the photo is worth much, much more. Kagin's Incorporated, an Americana expert based in Tiburon, California, says the image, circa 1878, shows Billy the Kid and his gang, the "Regulators." Its value? $5 million.

There's only one other known photo of the outlaw, which sold for $2.3 million in 2011. 

"This is the first photograph ever discovered of Billy the Kid with the Regulators, period," said Jeff Aiello, executive director of "Billy the Kid: New Evidence," a documentary that will air at 9 p.m. Sunday on the National Geographic channel. "And that's significant in American history."

Aiello added, "It's the holy grail of photography. It is the rarest photograph in the world, and it was found in a Fresno junk shop."

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