msnbc.com
updated 12/3/2009 6:44:36 PM ET 2009-12-03T23:44:36

Talk about a reversal of fortunes.

Two brothers who are so poor they live in a cave on the outskirts of Budapest and get by selling scavenged junk are in line to receive a $6.6 billion inheritance from a long-lost grandmother, the U.K. Daily Telegraph reports.

Zsolt and Geza Peladi have been informed that they are entitled to the fortune, along with a sister who lives in the United States, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

Charity workers in Hungary passed on the good news to the brothers after being contacted by lawyers handling the estate of their maternal grandmother, who died recently in Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, the Telegraph said.

“We knew our mother came from a wealthy family but she was a difficult person and severed ties with them, and then later abandoned us and we lost touch with her and our father until she eventually died,” Geza Peladi, 43, was quoted as saying by ATV television in Hungary.

“If this all works out it will certainly make up for the life we have had until now — all we really had was each other — no women would look at us living in a cave,” said Geza Peladi.

“But with money, maybe we can find a partner and finally have a normal life. We don’t know yet if she even told our grandmother about us. I understand it was only while they were carrying out genealogical research that lawyers found we existed.”

Under German law, direct descendants are automatically entitled to a share of any estate. As the grandmother’s daughter is dead, the money goes to her grandchildren.

The brothers said they are trying to track down their mother's death certificate to prove relation to their grandmother before traveling to Germany to claim the fortune.

The newspaper report didn’t say how the grandmother, whose name was not made public, amassed the fortune.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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