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American offers snow for sale

January 05, 2005 15:15 IST

Snow can now be found even on the Internet. A US student has placed a snowball from Christmas snowfall for auction on a portal.

Oscar J Garza, a 23-year-old Brownsville native and Texas A&M University student, has placed a rare snowball from the Christmas snowfall for auction on eBay.

Snow, a common sight elsewhere, is a rarity in south Texas. Brownsville received 1.5 inches of snow on Christmas eve and Christmas morning, its first measurable since February 14, 1895, according to the National Weather Service.

The auction began on December 29, 2004 and is scheduled to end January 8.

Garza told The Brownsville Herald that much like every other Brownsville resident, he woke up on Christmas day to find his house covered in snow.

"My parents woke me up and told me to come outside because it's been snowing all night. I figured I will build a snowman and two days later there's still some snow, so I put it in the freezer. Then I thought I'd put it up for sale," he said.

"I'm pretty sure no one's bought any snow."

The snow salesman said the recent snowfall is so historic that if no one buys the ball he might offer it to a museum.

"It's an amazing historical event. I thought it would be funny (to sell the snow); they've been selling so much (stuff) on eBay, I thought I'd get a good laugh and if I make a little money out of it, oh well. That's why I put a 'buy it now' price of $5,000," Garza said.

The 'buy it now' price is an option on the popular Internet site that allows a buyer to skip the auction and automatically purchase the item. However, for those interested in bidding, the starting bid is $1 in addition to a $20 shipping charge.

"It's a basketball-size chunk and I have to send it in dry ice so it doesn't melt," Garza explained.

Even though he hadn't received any bids by Saturday afternoon, Garza said an opportunity like this might never arise.

"Something like this is not going to happen again in our lifetime, the climate and the conditions are not proper for snowfall. So chances are we won't see this again," he said.

Another seller was asking $250,000 for a bowl of Christmas snow from Corpus Christi, sold 'as is' without warranty. After six days, there were still no takers. 

Seema Hakhu Kachru in Houston
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