Three roommates in New Paltz, NY found over $40,000 in a couch they bought from the Salvation Army for $20 and returned the money to it’s rightful owner.
Reese Werkhoven, Cally Guasti and Lara Russo bought the couch in March. Werkhoven found an envelope stuffed with $20 bills under an arm rest reports The Little Rebellion, a student-run news blog at SUNY New Paltz.
There was $700 in that first envelope, which was just the beginning.
“I almost peed,” Werkhoven said, “The most money I’d ever found in a couch was, like, fifty cents. Honestly, I’d be ecstatic to find just $5 in a couch.”
The three began digging through the rest of the couch and found several more envelopes amounting to $40,800.
“We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes,” said Guasti, a social worker with Family of Woodstock. “My mouth was literally hanging open, everybody’s was, it was an unfathomable amount.”
“Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed,” Russo said. “I wanted to put it back in the couch and like re-find it in the morning when I can process it better.”
ABC News reported Gausti spread the money on the bed and started counting.
“And we were screaming,” she said “In the morning, our neighbors were like, ‘We thought you won the lottery.’”
“We all agreed that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to,” Russo said “It’s their money. We didn’t earn it.”
Among the envelopes, the roommates found a deposit slip with a name on it. The next day, they matched the name on the slip to a phone book listing. Werkoven called her.
“I’m like, ‘I found something I think is yours,’ and she’s like ‘What?’” Werkhoven told CBS New York.“And I’m like, ‘I found a couch,’ and then she’s like, ‘oh my God, I left a lot of money in that couch.’”
The roommates delivered the cash to the 91 year old woman, who said she kept her savings, and her husband’s savings in the couch for over 30 years.
After her husband died, the woman had back surgery. Her daughter god rid of the old couch, which the woman slept on and bought her a new bed.
“When we handed the money back to the woman, she told us that she felt her husband was present in the room with us,” Guasti said.
“We almost didn’t pick that couch,” said Russo. “It’s pretty ugly and smells, but it was the only couch that fit the right dimensions for our living room.”
The woman gave the roommates $1,000 as a reward for returning the money.
[Image via nydailynews.com]