A TEACHER who spent her own money buying Harry Potter books for her class got the shock of her life when one turned out to be worth £6,000.
The primary school teacher took matters into her own hands when she realised her year four class only had five copies of The Philosopher's Stone to share between 27 of them.
She spent an afternoon going in and out of charity shops and found four more paperback copies, paying anything from 50p to £2 for them.
But when her 23-year-old son, an English literature graduate, looked at them when she got home and suspected one might be a rare first edition.
The teacher, who wishes to remain anonymous, took the copy to Reeman Dansie Auctioneers of Colchester, Essex, and they confirmed its rarity.
It was one of just 5,000 paperbacks released on the first publication day in 1997.
It contains the same series of now-famous typing errors, including 'one wand' being printed twice on a list of items Harry needs for Hogwarts.
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The author's name also appears on the back cover as Joanne Rowling rather than JK Rowling.
It sold at auction for a hammer price of £6,200. With fees added on the winning American bidder paid £7,500 for it.
The vendor could not be sure which one of three charity shops she bought the book from so will make a donation to all of them from the proceeds of the sale.
She also intends to treat herself to a nice summer holiday.
Auctioneer Daniel Wright from Reeman Dansie said: "Talk about good karma!
"Our vendor was trying to buy as many copies of the book as possible for her class out of her own pocket rather than school funds and got lucky. Good on her."
The teacher said she bought the copies during the Easter holidays as her class was due to start reading Harry Potter at the start of the following term.
She said: "I think it is really good to have JK Rowling as an inspirational literary figure and Harry Potter was to be our next topic, but we only had five copies to share around a class of 27.
"I thought it would be much better if the children could have one copy to share between two and set about trying to find as many second hand copies as possible.
"I managed to find four which I was pleased with.
'ONE WAND' TYPO
"My two sons were at home and one of them studied literature at university. He saw the books and said we had better check if any of them were rare editions.
"He knew what he was looking for and found the list of items on page 53 with the typo.
"I was completely amazed when the auction house told me it could be worth £4,000, so it selling for £6,200 is incredible.
"My sons said that it makes up for all the things I have bought for the school over the years.
"Because all four books look the same, I don't know which charity shop I bought it from so I will make a donation to all three of them."
Although the vendor wrote her name in Biro on the inside page of the book, experts say that didn't affect the value.
Mr Wright said: "It is my understanding that the hardback edition of 500 and approximately 5,000 paperback editions were released on the same day and our copy has the famous errors, such as two wands in his shopping list."
Of the 500 hardback copies initially released, 300 were given to libraries and schools and the remaining 200 passed into private hands.
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One of those, signed by the author for the relatives of JK Rowling's Edinburgh neighbour, sold for a British record of £220,800 last week.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone has sold over 120million copies to date.
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