Land auction map

This 40-acre parcel of land to be auctioned.

Auctioneers and county officials this morning declared a "no sale" when the man who won a county land auction thought he had purchased 40 acres west of Deerfield Lake for $2,550 total, when in fact he had bid that much per acre.

Matt Astin, 21, of Hermosa realized shortly after the auctioneer yelled "sold" that he had made a mistake and could not pay the 20 percent earnest money due immediately, or the $102,000 he had actually bid for the property.

Prior to realizing the mistake, Astin, who works for a local concrete company, said he and his brothers planned to use the land for grazing.

County Auditor Julie Pearson announced the auction would be considered a "no sale" and would be rescheduled by county commissioners at a meeting Nov. 9.

Todd McPherson, business manager for McPherson Auction and Realty, the company that handled the auction, said he has never seen anything like that happen. The company has conducted auctions since 1949.

"Very rarely do you sell an acreage not by the acre," McPherson said.

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Exceptions could be a property with only a couple of acres that could be sold as a lot.

Auctioneer Kevin McPherson did mention during the bidding that the price was "per acre."

The 40-acre tract is west of Deerfield Lake and sits at about 6,750 feet elevation.Ā Pennington County owned the land for nearly a century but didn't realize it until recently and opted for an auction to get the land off its books.

Pearson has said the county will use the money to pay off about $3,500 in advertising, attorney and planning fees. The rest will be divided among the county taxing districts, with the largest percentage going to the school system.

Contact Ryan Lengerich at 394-8418 or

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