WASHINGTON – What could be a World War II-era recipe for Coca-Cola’s secret formula found a buyer Wednesday on eBay: a 15-year-old who now has three days to come up with $15 million to pay for it.
Georgia antiques dealer Cliff Kluge listed the yellowing typewritten document — found among papers at a Tennessee estate sale — with an opening bid of $5 million and a buy-it-now price of $15 million as a publicity stunt.
“It would have been a wonderful thing” if it had found a genuine buyer, Kluge said, “but some 15-year-old kid bid on it (at $15 million), and it’s not a legitimate bid.”
Undaunted, Kluge said he will re-list it after a three-day waiting period, required under eBay rules, on the off-chance that the adolescent buyer can somehow rustle up the cash.
Coca-Cola, which traces its origins to a 19th-century patent medicine, says its formula of natural ingredients is a closely held trade secret, kept in a vault at its World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta.