Lucky Strike Of The Week

Is there an art to cracking a safe or is it just luck?

One of the attractions of the Heritage Museum in Vermilion in Alberta, Canada, is a safe, dating from 1907, from the town’s Brunswick Hotel. When the hotel was renovated in 1992, the safe was donated to the museum. There was one problem though – no one knew the code to the safe’s combination lock.

The museum had tried various methods to get the safe open, ranging from trying default combinations, bringing in experts and contacting former employees of the hotel, all to no avail. The safe door, which had last opened in 1977, remained resolutely shut, which, I suppose, is what you want with a safe.

Then along came Stephen Mills. He and his family paid a visit to the museum and after hearing the saga of the safe decided to have a go at opening it. Noticing that the combination lock’s numbers ran from 0 to 60, he entered the sequence 20-40-60 and turned the knob. Hey, presto the door sprang open.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a pile of cash inside, just an old pay sheet and a restaurant order pad, including receipts for a mushroom burger (C$0.59) and a packet of fags (C$1.00). But at least the mystery is over and with it, possibly, the museum’s only claim to fame.

I wonder if Stephen bought a lottery ticket when he left the museum.

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