Murfreesboro, TN – A Good Samaritan poking around in a Speedy Mart dumpster collecting cans to be recycled for pennies apiece came upon the ultimate payday: $3,800 in cash wrapped in a plastic bag.
“I didn’t think it was real,” Joe Ellis, the man who discovered the cash, told Nashville’s News 2.
The bag contained hundred dollar bills adding up to $3,800 as well as three bank slips. Ellis immediately turned the money in to the Speedy Mart managers.
“I turned it in to the people, the two guys that worked there [Speedy Mart] and I told them about what happened and I gave them the money and he was counting it out, the guys and they said it was almost $4,000,” he recalled.
“I can tell he’s a trustworthy person you know, he’s a nice guy,” said the Speedy Mart manager.
Ellis admitted that he was tempted to keep the money but decided against it. “That’s too much money for me to find and not turn it in,” he said.
Using the bank slips, police were able to track down the owner of the lost $3,800 who said that he’d accidentally thrown out the money while cleaning his car. For Ellis’ honesty, the man awarded him $400. Not bad for a day of can collecting.
There have been a number of Good Samaritans in the news lately whose stories have shown that even these days, doing the right thing often bears its own rewards.
The most famous recent example is Kansas City’s Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man who received a diamond engagement ring by mistake, and decided to track down the owner after finding out that it was worth nearly $4,000.
His honesty rewarded him beyond his wildest dreams. The woman who lost the ring (as well as her husband) set up a donation for Harris, which has received almost $200,000 in donations since the story went viral.
Additionally, his national fame led Harris to be reunited with his family. He had been separated from them for 16 years.
What do you think of the honest can collector who returned $3,800? Would you have kept the money?