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Dead Man Trims National Debt

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- A deceased Florida man just did what Congress has struggled to do: He reduced the $15 trillion national debt, even though only by the most miniscule of slivers.

When James H. Davidson Jr. died in December 2010 at the age of 87, he left his 3,900-square-foot house and $1 million he had in other assets to the United States Treasury.

Davidson’s sprawling Spanish-style home sold for $1.175 million at auction Saturday, providing Uncle Sam with some more pocket change to pay down a national debt that ballooned to a record high in November.

Davidson, who was a veteran and briefly worked for Miami-Dade County government, never married or had children. He did, however, have nieces and nephews in the area, according to the Miami Herald.

“We in the family found it highly unusual,” his nephew, David Harum, told the newspaper of his uncle’s non-traditional decision.

George Richards, owner of the National Auction Company, told ABC News that more than 750 people toured the home and 17 ultimately registered to bid, which required turning in a $25,000 cashier’s check.

The winning bidder was Barbara Perez, who along with her husband and another couple, bid on the house as a joint venture.

The home was named a historic landmark in November by the Historic Preservation Board of Coral Gables, Fla.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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