when stephen mills spotted a dusty old safe in a museum in canada, he thought he'd try to crack the code, "just like in the movies". but when he began turning the dial, he wasn't expecting a hollywood ending.
for years, anyone who visited the vermillion heritage museum in alberta would have passed by a large, black metal box. staff knew it had come from the long-gone brunswick hotel and was donated to the museum in the 1990s. but its code and contents remained a mystery for decades – until mills unexpectedly cracked the combination.
mills, a resident of fort mcmurray, also in alberta, was visiting the museum with his family last month over a holiday weekend. as they wandered around the exhibits with the museum guide, tom kibblewhite, they spotted the safe.
米尔斯也是阿尔伯塔省麦克默里堡(fort mcmurray)的居民，上个月的一个周末，他和家人一起参观了这家博物馆。当他们和博物馆的导游汤姆·基布尔怀特(tom kibblewhite)在展厅里闲逛时，他们发现了保险箱。
kibblewhite told the family what he tells all other guests: the 900kg (2,000lb) black box with a silver dial had remained closed for generations.
for years, the safe has confounded volunteers at the museum. the manufacturer was unable to provide advice on how to open its thick door. a locksmith suggested to the museum that years of inactivity might have slowed down the finicky gears, rendering it inoperable.
but mills, who is "mechanically minded person", asked whether he could give it a try. "[kibblewhite] kept saying no one had opened it and that it was a mystery what was inside,'" mills told the guardian. "i thought this would be a great thing to do for a laugh for the kids. what a time capsule."
after pressing his ear against the cool metal, he began spinning the dial. with numbers ranging from zero to 60, he turned clockwise three times to 20, counter-clockwise two times to 40, and then clockwise one time to 60.
he was astonished to hear a click. "i jumped up and told everyone i'm buying a lottery ticket," he said.