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Cigarettes, surf boards - and a wedding dress?

More than 20,000 things people left on planes and at airports, including a wedding dress and a pair of rudimentary stilts, were auctioned off Tuesday as Madrid's airport cleared out its lost-and-found department.
/ Source: The Associated Press

More than 20,000 things people left on planes and at airports, including a wedding dress and a pair of rudimentary stilts, were auctioned off Tuesday as Madrid's airport cleared out its lost-and-found department.

The items were divided up into nine lots, such as clothes and jewelry, and prospective buyers submitted bids over a one-week period that ended Monday. Most were merchants who run secondhand stores, said the national flagship carrier Iberia, which organized the sale.

On Tuesday, auctioneers opened up sealed envelopes and announced the winners.

The tokens of travelers' forgetfulness included 6,330 books, 664 toys, 1,570 audio or video gadgets, 38 cartons of cigarettes, several surf boards, a bass guitar, a wedding dress and a pair of stilts with sneakers on the bottom, an Iberia official said.

Spain has held the auctions twice a year since 1942. Proceeds go to the government's Development Ministry.

Neither Iberia nor the ministry had a figure for how much money was raised.