Used Olympic torches are appearing on eBay even before their bearers are running in the relay to London, netting one fortunate handler more than 153,000 pounds ($237,000).
Sarah Milner Simonds listed her torch with the online auction site after she learned another torch sold for $4,700, The Telegraph reported.
She never expected to receive a final bid of 153,000 pounds.
“Obviously, it has really upset people, but I think that it’s not something that is really me to keep my shiny trophy on a mantelpiece when it is obvious how much good one can do with the money that someone might be willing to pay for it,” she told The Telegraph.
Simonds had yet to verify the final bid’s authenticity, and she’s certainly not the only torchbearer benefitting.
Others are receiving bids of $157,000 and many for more than $1,570, The Telegraph said.
This isn’t the first case of torches being sold. It was also a common during the 2010 Olympic torch relay before the Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada.
The London Olympic organizers said they are powerless to stop the sales.
“It’s up to the torchbearer to do what they want with their torches. We just hope they end up in a good home,” a representative told Agence France-Presse.
Anyone can buy a torch for about $780, and those who run in the relay get buy their torches for about $340.
There are 8,000 people running in the 10-week, 8,000-mile relay to London and the start of the Summer Games on July 27.
Handlers needed to relight the flame after a malfunctioning burner snuffed it on Day 3, The Guardian reported.
Organizers said it’s not an uncommon event.
“We keep the mother flame alight in specially designed miners’ lanterns so if the flame does go out for some reason we re-light it from the source of the flame,” a spokesperson told The Guardian.