Alexander Dotor once interviewed Greg Stafford, during which Greg Stafford stated the following:
Greg Stafford: I knew about D&D. I had a friend in Lake Geneva who was picking up abelt buckle catalogue at the printer and he saw another guy there and asked what it was. They guy said, A fantasy game. My buddy said, Hey, I have a friend making one of those. Can I buy a copy from you? And he did. Well, The guy was Gary Gygax and the gaming system the first copy of D&D ever sold. We read it but if you know that game, it was editorially terrible. At Chaosium we thought about a role-playing game with Glorantha as gaming world, but we needed a gaming system. I finally met Steve Perrin who had developed a gaming system and he created our system: RuneQuest. It was published in 1978.
Is this true (allowing for the difficulties that interviews with Californian Arkati Shaman-Publishers present to seekers of truth)? Did Stafford's friend acquire a copy of D&D directly from Gygax? Did he pay for it? (How much?) Were other copies sold beforehand?