Man Finds 160 Bowling Balls Under Stairway During Home Renovations

A Michigan man was surprised to find 160 bowling balls under a stairway outside of his house while carrying out renovations on his property.

David Olson, 33, from the city of Muskegon in Michigan, found the balls underneath a concrete stairway at his house on Saturday, July 1 after he began demolishing the steps to work out why water kept leaking into his home.

Olson had been told by an inspector that he needed to demolish the stairway to investigate the issue, and decided to do the work himself.

"The inspector told me the cement pad, just off his sliding glass door, was sloping into the house," Olson told ABC affiliate WZZM. "I had a couple hours on my hands so I wanted to take a sledgehammer to it."

He said that after he got past the first slab of the concrete he noticed several blue bowling balls embedded in the sand underneath, and revealed that he found more every time he dug further into the ground.

"I was kind of assuming maybe there were just a couple in there just to fill in. The deeper I got into it the more I realized it was just basically an entire gridwork of them making up the weight in there," Olson told the Detroit Free Press.

"I was actually a little happy about that because it's a little easier to roll bowling balls out of the way than to move the sand and figure out where to put all that."

In a Facebook post, Olson initially revealed the total count of the bowling balls as 50, but by the end of the day, he had discovered 158, before later once again revising the total to 160 after he found more in bushes on his patio.

"It became mind-blowing," Olson later told WZZM about the find. "I kind of felt like a paleontologist when they got their little brush and they're dusting the bones off."

Olson confirmed on Facebook that he contacted the Brunswick Bowling office in Muskegon to ask if the balls were toxic and safe to dispose of.

He said that he was told by the organization that the balls could be safely disposed of, but revealed that he has instead decided to upcycle some and donate others to a local church and his step-father.

"They told me that back in the 1950s, they used to make damaged bowling balls available for people to take for free and use as landfill," he said Brunswick explained about the balls.

"There's no way to know for certain if that's what the previous homeowner did, but given where the bowling balls were found, it seems logical."

Olson told Newsweek on Monday that Brunswick later got in contact with him about the possibility of him donating two of the balls to showcase in their office for "sentimental reasons."

He said that he asked them if in return he could be given two new balls so that he and his wife can "bowl in style," but confirmed that he has not yet heard back.

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Olson also told Newsweek that he has set up a GoFundMe campaign looking to raise $15,000 to continue the excavation to see if there are any more bowling balls underneath his house.

The 33-year-old said that he created the campaign because to look for more balls he would have to dig up the rest of his patio, which he cannot afford without the financial help of others.

He then thanked those who have sent supportive messages, writing: "I would like to thank you all for your time, energy, and resources. I can not believe how far my story has spread."

Newsweek has contacted Brunswick Bowling for comment.

David Olsen bowling balls.
A picture provided by Michigan resident David Olson of bowling balls found underneath his property. Olson found 160 under his house while investigating a water leak on July 1. David Olson