When you're a college kid, you look for things that fit your minimal budget. So, you probably shop for furniture at garage sales and the Salvation Army. That's precisely where college students Reese Werkhoven, Cally Guasti, and Lara Russo purchased a slightly funky-smelling couch for about $20.
They brought it home and sat down, and everyone agreed it wasn't the most comfortable thing to sit on. They decided to investigate the lumpy couch cushions and ended up finding a whopping $41,000 stuffed into various old envelopes. Obviously, they immediately freaked out.
“It had these bubble wrap envelopes, just like two or three of them,” said Werkhoven. “We ripped them out and [I] was just like freaking out, like an inch and a half of $100 bills. The most money I’d ever found in a couch was like 50 cents,” he added. “Honestly, I’d be ecstatic to find just $5 in a couch.”
Then they discovered a bank statement with the name of a woman, presumably the former owner of the couch and rightful owner of the money. After some moral discussions, they decided the right thing to do was return the money to the proper owner, a 90-year-old woman who stashed the cash because she didn't trust banks. She slept on the couch after a hip surgery. Her daughter, wanting to be helpful and not knowing any better, sold the couch for a new bed for her mom.
Upon getting her money back, the old woman was so grateful that she gave the students $1,000 as a reward. "This was her life savings and she actually said something really beautiful, like ‘This is my husband looking down on me and this was supposed to happen,'” said Guasti. "At the end of the day, it wasn’t ours. I think if any of us had used it, it would have felt really wrong."
H/T: Mario Tachinardi