By Eli Haims
An average of 10 million people watched each episode in the final season of the hit ABC show “Lost,” but only a handful had the opportunity to work at the “Lost” auction; one of these was Hank Gerba ’12. The auction, which raised money for ABC by selling more than 1000 items related to the show, was held at Barker Hanger at the Santa Monica Airport.
After seeing an episode at a friend’s house, Gerba’s confusion over the plot got the better of him and he watched the first five seasons on the internet before the sixth started. After hearing about the auction, Gerba’s father put him in contact with someone that he knew at ABC, who then connected him with someone working for the auction.
“To be involved in an event that is a hallmark of the conclusion of the greatest television saga ever conceived is the envy of all Losties,” Jack Petok ’11, a fan of the show said.
Gerba’s job started on Aug 19, the day before the two day event started.
“[The event organizers] ordered at least six times that amount of water they needed, so they had me unpacking it and putting the bottles in a side room,” he said. The bottles had the logos of the Dharma Initiative and Oceanic Airlines on them, two important in the show.
On the opening day, Gerba went to the auction as a guest, but because he had worked the day before, didn’t have to pay the $42 entrance fee, a number significant to the show. He admits that after a few hours the auction got boring to watch, but was interested in displays that had scenes from the show set up around the hanger. Some of his favorites included Sawyer’s beach setup and a piece of Oceanic Flight 815, the plane that crashed stranding all of the characters on an island in the show, that people could take pictures in.
The next day, Gerba got to the hanger at 7 a.m, two hours before the auction opened. His job consisted of taking pictures of people in front of the scenes from the show and talking to people about the show. Many of the items that were going to be auctioned off later in the day were kept under glass cases for people to see, and one of his responsibilities was to make sure people didn’t take anything.
The actual auction started around 1 p.m, with people bidding in person, by phone and online from approximately 40 countries, Gerba said. A few of the most expensive items were the Dharma Volkswagen van and jeep, which sold for $47,500 and $20,000, respectively, and a script for the pilot episode signed by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindolof, the co-creators, for $15,000. Everything ran smoothly until about 11 p.m.
“The auction software wasn’t working. It was 11 at night and people were getting bored. We didn’t want people to leave because a lot of the high-priced stuff was at the end. So John [the MC] gets on stage and says ‘We’re going to show you a clip from the DVD while we think of some trivia’ hoping the software would be up by the end of the clip. I had met John before, but I could tell they were having a rough time so I ran up to the stage. They didn’t have any [trivia] and the clip was about to end. It just so happened that I had been quizzing people on trivia all day so I had like five questions. I ran up to John and introduced myself and told him my trivia. He got on stage and told the trivia and the crisis was averted,” Gerba said, and then, jokingly, “I saved the day. That was fun.”
“It was cool to go, literally from one day to the next, from a fan to someone representing the the show,” Gerba said.