Odd News Show

Net Profits: New York Magnet Fishers Hook a Small Fortune

A New York couple dredged the depths of a local pond and came up with an approximately 100,000% return on their investment.

By Katie Compa · June 8, 2024

"Pull it up and make sure it doesn't say ACME!" Jason Bain/Flickr

While magnet fishing in New York’s fourth-largest public park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park (perhaps best known for its appearance in the original Men in Black), a local couple caught the big one—or rather, 100,000 big ones—when they hooked a safe containing $100,000 in hundred-dollar bills. The find was documented by James Kane and his girlfriend Barbi Agostini (henceforth Barbi & Kane).

As far as we know, no rollerblades were involved.  Katie Compa/Odd News Show

They called the NYPD to report the find, theorizing that it might be illegal lucre from a previous crime, but the cops told them the safe’s condition was so deteriorated as to be useless as evidence even if it were connected to a crime, and said they can keep the money. 

Sounds almost too easy, doesn’t it? Actually, the money has been decaying during its time in the muck of the pond, so touching the fragile bills might destroy them. The couple plans to visit the U.S. Treasury to see if they can repair the waterlogged bills. 

Barbi & Kane became interested in their newest hobby during the COVID-19 pandemic (which, by the way, is very much back for the summer, courtesy of the new KP.2 variant—be careful out there!), buying a kit in 2023. Kane told local news that this isn’t even their first time finding a safe (his exact words were “we’ve found plenty of safes”—plenty??? Of safes??? Underwater??? Okay…), but it does mark the first time it was so profitable.

Though magnet fishing as a sport is still relatively under the radar in the United States (in that there are no federal laws against it, though a license is required in South Carolina, and a permit in Indiana), it has a healthy fanbase, perhaps due to an early start at children’s birthday parties featuring tiny magnet fishing sets. 

Gotta catch 'em all!... why does that sound so familiar?  Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

Magnet fishers literally never catch fish, as fish are not magnetic, but they come up with all kinds of metal debris including bicycles, unexploded ammunition, an alarming number of guns (USA! USA!), anvils from wily roadrunners, and obviously, loose silverware. Who among us hasn’t dropped a fork during a sushi picnic in the middle of the water? 

Catering is actually top-tier at the Gathering of the Juggalos.  Mike Carter/Flickr

Barbi & Kane say they’re into magnet fishing because it combines cleaning the waterways with fun and profit—and of course, every magnet fisher’s dream is to find a bona fide treasure, which they did. We wish them all the best in both repairing and spending their newfound windfall. You can follow their adventures on Instagram at @letsgetmagnetic. For our part, you can find us pondering the mysteries of magic (along with water, fire, air and dirt) from a whole new (capitalist) perspective.