And Finally…

Safe locked for 40 years opened on first try

Last opened in the late ‘70s, the large safe located at Alberta’s Vermilion Heritage Museum had always posed a challenge to visitors, with thousands trying to crack the code and gain access to what was inside.

Taken from a local hotel, the contents of safe remained a mystery to guests, as well as staff, who hadn’t managed to crack the code.

However, last month Canadian Stephen Mills walked up to the large 2,000lb metal safe and cracked it on his first try.

Mr Mills was being shown around the museum by guide Tom Kibblewhite, who explained it’s history and the many attempts that had failed before, but he decided to have a go at opening it “for a laugh”.

Seeing that the safe’s combination dial ranged between zero and 60, Mr Mills thought that 20-40-60 might be a good bet and to his surprise, the door of the safe opened.

He said: “I cracked it, it opened, and it was just total disbelief. Tom was equally surprised; the whole family was. It was great. The kids got excited, they were like ‘we beat it, we beat the code!’

“I could tell it wasn’t opened for a long time because some dust fell out from the locking mechanism.”

Prior to Mr Mills attempts, museum staff had tried default combinations and even asked experts to try to crack the code. They also contacted former hotel employees to see if they could help, but to no avail.

So, what was in the mystery safe? Unfortunately, not the riches that everyone had hoped for. Instead, it contained an old pay sheet and part of a restaurant order pad dating from the late 1970s, which listed a mushroom burger for C$1.50 (59p) and a package of cigarettes for C$1.00 (40p).