Experts tried to open safe locked for 40 years; tourist cracks it on first try

Experts tried to open safe locked for 40 years; tourist cracks it on first try
A Canadian museum has held a safe that is thought to be last opened in the 1970's. One tourist was able to crack the code on his first try. (Source: CNN)

ALBERTA, Canada (Gray News) - For four decades, the Vermilion Heritage Museum couldn’t open the safe that sat in its basement.

Call it fate or call it destiny, it just seemed like the museum needed Stephen Mills’ help.

After all, it was actually closed the day Mills showed up with his wife, kids and father-in-law. Still, they found a way inside by convincing one of the volunteers to show them around.

At the end of the tour, they ventured down into the basement. Like all tours, the volunteer offered Mills a shot at unlocking the safe.

“I looked at the dial and I saw the numbers were running from 0 to 60,″ Mills told CNN. "So I thought in my head 20-40-60. I did a particular combination which is three on the right, two on the left, and one on the right, tried the handle and it opened.”

The feat left everyone in the room astonished. Mills said his kids kept shouting “we beat the code!”

For years, the museum had brought in blacksmiths. They failed. Former employees had no luck. Even the safe’s manufacturer couldn’t do the trick.

“It was a 100% guess. I was fully amazed. I stepped back a little bit and thought ‘I’m buying a lottery ticket tonight,’” Mills said.

As for the safe’s contents, it was just holding old papers, old checks, a receipt and a waitress’ notepad.

The volunteer, identified as Tom Kibblewhite, said the safe originally belonged to the Brunswick Hotel, which opened in the early 1900s. It shut down in the late 1970s, leaving the safe locked for decades.

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