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Man's mystery purchase unveils stunning surprise

Patrick Scott Patterson bought the arcade cabinet with no idea what it once was

DENTON, Texas — For nearly 30 years, self-proclaimed treasure hunter Patrick Scott Patterson has made a living digging through other people’s junk.

What he’s looking for, mostly, are pop culture collectibles and antiques and pretty much every time he’s uncovered one, he’s known what it was.

That is, until about a month ago when he stumbled upon a mystery.

“It’s like, ‘Ok, that’s a first,’” Patterson said. “And it’s been a long time since there’s been a first.”

What he found was an old arcade cabinet at an auction in Denton.

The exterior displayed a game called Mr. Do, but Patterson said he knew it used to be something else.

Oftentimes, if an arcade game was losing money the cabinet, or frame, would be painted and the game inside replaced.

It was obvious to Patterson that’s what happened here.

“I’m almost always able to figure out what it used to be and this was a situation where I wasn’t able to do that and that intrigued me even more,” he said.

So, he bought it, took it back to his warehouse. Using disinfecting wipes, because he was afraid paint thinners would remove too much, Patterson spent the entire month of May carefully wiping away the paint.

“I felt like I was training for the under 18 all valley karate tournament,” he joked. “I was waxing on, waxing off for 50, 60-something hours.”

By the time he finally removed the top layer of paint, he had uncovered the original artwork for SEGA Samurai, one of the rarest arcade cabinets in the world.

Including Patterson’s, there are only two registered SEGA Samurai cabinets in existence.

Released in 1980, SEGA Samurai was a huge flop, which is why someone painted over this cabinet in 1983 and installed Mr. Do.

Now that he’s peeled back the layers, Patterson hopes to find a collector, someone who considers this their holy grail.

And when you’ve found the holy grail, that’s a good time to ride off into the sunset, right?

“Oh no,” Patterson laughed. “For one, I got bills to pay and I’ve got overhead. The thrill of the hunt is as much a part of this as anything else I do.”

In other words, game on.

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