Small investors who were mocked last year for driving up shares of bankrupt car rental company Hertz scored a surprising victory on Wednesday when the company was bought at auction for as much as $8 a share.

Word of the deal vindicating the much maligned “Reddit Rally” crowd sent shares of Hertz up as much as 68 percent on Wednesday to $6.20 a share before closing at $5.72 a share.

Shareholders are usually wiped out in a bankruptcy. But Wednesday’s Miami-based auction had monied Wall Street firms vying for control of the car rental business at a time when pandemic-weary consumers are hitting the road again in droves.