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Mom walks dog, finds $20,000 meteorite

Unlike many visitors to her Californian town, Brenda Salverson isn't looking for buried treasure. But she finds it all the same.

CBS Sacramento/Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There seems to be a slight gold rush going on in the very small town of Lotus, Calif.

Recently, a massive meteorite exploded over the town, so people have been flying in from all parts of the earthly world in order to claim their piece of otherworldly matter.

Brenda Salverson doesn't seem to have been caught up in this frenzy. However, as she walked her dog, there was this thing "sitting at my toes like an Easter egg."

Those were the words she used with CBS Sacramento, anyway.

It turned out to be a meteorite worth around $20,000. (Click here to watch video.)

This Easter egg weighed a mere 17 grams. However, when scientists took one look at her treasure they all apparently gasped. For this little piece of space history might be as old as 6 billion years.

Her son Tommy took it to his school's "show and tell." The reaction of his class was, he said, "a little freaky."

Oddly enough, even though the meteorite has considerable value, for now Salveson is just going to put it on her mantelpiece.

Happily for those who have little to do this weekend, scientists reportedly declare that there could be several more pieces in the Lotus area, waiting to be discovered by the fascinated or merely by those who could do with a little money.

Those who believe in repeated serendipity would have noted that Lotus was founded in 1849 and originally named after James W. Marshall. Yes, the man said to have discovered gold.