Stephen Mills decided to have a go at opening the 2,000lb safe “for a laugh” but unfortunately it wasn’t full of riches.

Image: Stephen Mills (C) was amazed to crack the combination. Pic: CBC/Chris Stead

A man has spoken of his “total disbelief” after opening a safe that had been locked for 40 years on his first try.

Canadian Stephen Mills went to Alberta’s Vermilion Heritage Museum last month.

One of its attractions is a 2,000lb (907kg) safe that had not been opened since the late 1970s.

While being shown round by guide Tom Kibblewhite, Mr Mills decided to have a go at opening it “for a laugh”.

Noticing the dial numbers ran from zero to 60, he decided to try 20-40-60.

Image: The safe contained an old pay sheet and part of a restaurant order pad. Pic: CBC/Chris Stead

“I cracked it, it opened, and it was just total disbelief,” he told CBC Edmonton.

“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,” he told the BBC.

The safe was originally housed in a town hotel, which opened in 1906, and was donated to the museum in the early 1990s.

The museum had previously tried default combinations, asked experts to try to crack the code, and even contacted former hotel employees to see if they could help.

Image: Tom Kibblewhite holds the contents of the safe. Pic: CBC/Chris Stead

Other museum visitors had also played around it – without success.

Sadly, the safe was not full of cold, hard cash.

It contained an old pay sheet and part of a restaurant order pad dating from the late 1970s.

The pad included receipts for a mushroom burger for C$1.50 (59p) and a package of cigarettes for C$1.00 (40p).

Mr Kibblewhite said: “They have no value really, but they are of great interest to us. It gives us a little bit of idea of what the places were like in 1977, 78.”

 

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