They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…but not many of us have truly discovered actually treasure from trash. Usually, that figure of speech means that just because we think one thing is trash someone else may find it to be treasure but what happens when there is an actual treasure in the supposed other man’s trash? For three college students, this is the case when they bought a second-hand couch and later discover that they are sitting on a jackpot!
Sitting on a jackpot…literally!
Most times when you go digging in your couch cushions you find old pens, a crumb or two, some coins, lint, and if your lucky maybe a dollar. But for these three friends, when they went digging around their cushions they discovered $40,000 hidden in the couch they just purchased from the thrift store.
Oh, the things you can find at a thrift store…
One day Reese Werkhoven, a New York college student, and his two friends, Cally Guasti and Lara Russo, decided to go shopping at a thrift store. Once there they discovered a nice couch for the apartment at an extremely low price of just $20 so they decided to purchase it and bring it back to try it out for the first time.
Little did they know a secret stash was hidden right underneath them.
Once they got the couch into the apartment it was time to sit on their new piece of furniture. But when they were sitting on it Reese felt something under his arm. After searching to find the source he discovered an envelope in the armrest which contained $700 in cash.
Reese recounts the moment to the SUNY New Paltz’s student newspaper called The Little Rebellion stating,
“I almost peed…The most money I’d ever found in a couch was like 50 cents. Honestly, I’d be ecstatic to find just $5 in a couch.”
So they began searching through each and every crevice to see what they could possibly discover.
So the friends decided to begin a deeper investigation into the couch’s depths which only revealed more envelopes containing more cash.
A dollar for every crevice!
After about 20 minutes of moving the couch around and searching every crevice, the group of three sat on the floor with about $40,000 total in cash hidden throughout this couch.
The next best thing to winning the lottery!
When the three sat down with CBS New York Cally Guasti told the station about the moment stating,
“Our neighbors thought we’d won the lottery or something because we were just screaming…”
But there was another discovery along with the money that brought everything into question.
But along with the thousands of dollars in cash, these three friends discovered they also found a name written on one of the envelopes. So it was time to have some discussion about what to do with the money.
The three friends had to decide together what to do with this treasure.
With this money, these three friends could divide it up and use it to pay off debt, loans, car payments, groceries, rent…you name it. However, they didn’t and they decided they had to track down the name written on the envelope to return the money to its rightful owner. Lara Russo tells The Little Rebellion about this moment between the three of them stating,
“We had a lot of moral discussions about the money…We all agreed that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to… it’s their money– we didn’t earn it. However, there were a lot of gray areas we had to consider.”
After some thought, they decided to do the right thing and try to find who this money actually belonged to.
So after some research, they found the owner of the cash was an elderly widow whose children donated the couch to the Salvation Army with a plan to surprise her with a new upgraded couch. Unfortunately, they did not know their mother had been tucking away her life savings in the crevices of her old couch for years. She was absolutely ecstatic to hear that someone had not only found the couch but tracked her down and wanted to return her money.
After the three returned the money to the woman whose name was written on the envelope she gave each of them $1,000 as a reward for their honesty.
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