ATLANTA, GA - An Atlanta-area man believes he may have hit the jackpot. He found an old recipe that he says could be the original one for Coca-Cola. Officials at the soft drink giant dismiss the claim saying the original recipe is locked away.
Put yourself for a moment in the mind of a dreamer. In this case the dreamer is a resident of Ringgold Georgia who loves finding and selling antiques. Cliff Kluge and his wife, Arlene, recently purchased a box of letters and papers at an estate sale. One of those papers is a Cola recipe from 1943. Yes, Coca-Cola, the beverage based out of Atlanta has been a tightly kept secret since the 19th century. Kluge believes this recipe has clues.
"On the last page of this, on page 83 it says the extractor is the original coca cola formula that's what i'm basing most of this on, they had access to the original formula." said Cliff Kluge.
Kluge's recipe matches closely with another recipe. Two years ago npr found a formula for Coca Cola and published it online. Their web site crashed from all the traffic. So what have officials at Coca-Cola said?
"They told me they'd call me back in 7-10 business days. Well, they haven't contacted me back." said Cliff Kluge.
They did return our calls with their own statement: "Through the years, many have tried to crack the secret formula, but no one has been able to reproduce the 'Real Thing.' The real formula is safely tucked away in a vault at the world of Coca-Cola in Atlanta."
That hasn't stopped Kluge. He has put the recipe on eBay. "I put it down for an initial bid of $5 million and a 'Buy Now' bid of 15 million."
Have there been any takers? "Uh, no."
But in the mind of this dreamer that's not what it's about.
"It's an Easter egg hunt, looking for eggs out there. And when you come up with something like this, it's Christmas." said Cliff Kluge.