Investor couple makes killing on Apple, without owning shares

Tech giant pays seven figures for plot of land it needs for massive data center

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Donnie and Kathy Fulbright of North Carolina will tell you: Real estate is all about location.

Back in the mid-1970s the young couple was shrewd enough to snatch up a tiny parcel of land in Maiden, N.C., and build a modest home, knowing full well that 34 years later, a three-person computer start-up no one had ever heard of but which would become the biggest personal technology company in the world would require that very plot of land for part of a massive data center it urgently needed to build.

Whether prescience or luck, the Fulbrights recently turned their $6,000 investment into a new life. As this Bloomberg News article explains, Apple paid the couple $1.7 million for their land (less than one acre).

But the couple didn't just grab at the first offer like a pair of goggle-eyed hicks. The Fulbrights said they rejected two previous offers from Apple before being told to name their price.

Apple intends to build a $1 billion, 500,000-square-foot data center to help store and manage the digital content Apple streams through its iTunes online store.

The Fulbrights used the $1.7 million to buy 3,400 iPads. Just kidding. They bought a 4,200-square-foot house on 49 acres of land a couple of towns away. Good for them.

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