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Coke Formula Claim Followed by Offer To Sell It for $15M on eBay

By Alexandra Ward   |   Tuesday, 14 May 2013 10:17 AM

A Georgia man who claims he found the original top-secret Coke formula is trying to sell it on eBay for $15 million.

Cliff Kluge, an antiques dealer from Ringgold, recently purchased a box of old papers from an estate sale and among the documents was a cola recipe from 1943.

"You don't stumble on things like this very often," Kluge told a Georgia NBC affiliate. "It's a letter, and a formula, and the processes to make it. I think it's a little deeper than having fun; I think it's the recipe for Coca-Cola."

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Kluge put the recipe up for sale on eBay for $5 million, with a Buy It Now price of $15 million. So far, there have been no offers, but he's just happy about the find.

"It's just excitement," he said. "It's an Easter egg hunt, looking for eggs out there. And when you come up with something like this, it's Christmas."

The official Coca-Cola recipe, reportedly developed in the 19th century, is kept in a safe at the company's headquarters in Atlanta. Kluge has reached out to Coke, but hasn't heard back yet.

"Through the years, many have tried to crack the secret formula, but no one has been able to reproduce the 'real thing,'" Coca-Cola told WXIA-TV in a statement. "The real formula is safely tucked away in a vault at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta."

Ted Ryan, an archivist and historian at Coca-Cola, said Kluge's recipe appears to be for a cola drink, but not Coke.

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"This particular formula is one of dozens that have popped up over the years trying to emulate the flavor of Coca-Cola," Ryan told WXIA-TV. "What I can discern about the formula is that it's a formula for a cola-type drink. I don't think it's Coca-Cola. It can't be Coca-Cola."

Two years ago, NPR's This American Life radio program published a formula it claimed was the original recipe. The primary flavors were vanilla, lime juice, lemon oil, orange oil, cinnamon oil, and nutmeg oil.

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