Have you ever taken an old coat out of the closet after its long summer hibernation, slipped your hand in the pocket and found twenty dollars? Isn’t that the greatest feeling? It doesn’t matter that the money originally belonged to you, it feels like you just found free money. Well, in the case of three New York college students, they found some money in an old, tossed out couch, and that money didn’t belong to them. Read on to learn what these kids did when they found $40,000 in a Salvation Army couch.
In 2014, three students from the State University of New York each pitched in twenty dollars and purchased a couch from their local Salvation Army thrift store. It was smelly and ugly, but it was all they could afford.
Two months passed before they realized that something felt funny about the cushions. They investigated the used couch, and inside they found a number of envelopes containing a total of forty thousand dollars.
The Telegraph shared a video of these college students’ story, writing, “Three roommates in New York describe how they came across thousands of dollars hidden inside their junk shop sofa. Three roommates who bought a lumpy old sofa at a thrift store found $40,800 (£24,300) in cash stashed inside and returned the money to the 91-year-old upstate New York widow who had hidden it there.
“We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes,” said Cally Guasti, a social worker with Family of Woodstock who shares an apartment with two friends in New Paltz, 75 miles north of New York City. “My mouth was literally hanging open – everybody’s was – it was an unfathomable amount.”
“Guasti explained that she and her friends had bought the beat-up sofa and a chair for $55 at a Salvation Army thrift shop in March. They noticed the arm cushions were weirdly lumpy, so one of them, student Reese Werkhoven, opened the zip on one arm and found an envelope. It contained $4,000 in bubble-wrapped notes. Guasti, Werkhoven and roommate Lara Russo opened the other arm zipper and started mining the treasure stashed inside. They counted it up: $40,800.
“We put it all on a bed,” Guasti said. “We laid it all out and started counting. And we were screaming. In the morning, our neighbours were like, ‘We thought you won the lottery.'”
Later on, Guasti found a deposit slip with a woman’s name on it. Werkhoven called her the next morning. “She said, ‘I have a lot of money in that couch and I really need it,'” Guasti said.
“They drove to the home of the woman, who turned out to be the elderly woman. She cried in gratitude when they gave her the cash she had hidden away. The woman’s family had donated the couch to the Salvation Army while she was having health problems. Guasti said the three had considered the option of keeping the money, but decided they couldn’t do that.
“At the end of the day, it wasn’t ours,” Guasti said. “I think if any of us had used it, it would have felt really wrong.”
What would you do if you found $40,000 in a sofa you purchased from a thrift store? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.