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Seattle’s Mystery Coke Machine

Seattle has its share of mysteries, but one that everyone seems to enjoy is the Coke machine at the corner of John Street and 11th Avenue East. This vending machine is far from new; in fact it looks like a soda machine from the 1970s. And the price is anachronistic, too, just 55 cents a can, while most other machines charge a dollar. No one knows who installed the machine, or who stocks it. However, the locksmith shop it stands in front of may have something to do with it, but they aren't saying anything.    

The modern antique offers a comparatively limited selection of drinks with yellowed plastic buttons offering Coke, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, and Barq's, but the intriguing button marked "Mystery" generally produces none of these. According to one report, after spending five dollars in change on the mystery button, the machine produced six different brand of soda, none of which had their own button on the machine.

The “mystery” button often serves obscure and even rare soda flavors. The popularity of the Coke machine is such that it has its own Facebook fan page. -via Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader

(Image credit: Flickr user ario_)


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I've frequently bought soda from here because it's just a few blocks from my work. The locksmith shop actually does stock it (I caught them once!) and keep it operational. As for that Mystery button, I've gotten everything from Orange Fanta to Diet Dr. Pepper. It's super fun to take friends visiting from out of town there. And if you don't like what you got in the mystery, you can just get another one, because chances are, it won't be the same.
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