Man on the poverty line hands back $125,000 he found on the streets - because he wants his grandchildren to know he was a 'just man'

Joe Cornell was out volunteering for the Salvation Army in Fresno, California, when a vehicle transporting cash accidentally dropped $125,000 on the street

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The Independent US

A Californian man with little more than a dollar to his name handed back $125,000 (£74,500) he stumbled across while volunteering in Fresno, California.

Joe Cornell was watering plants for the Salvation Army in Fresno when he saw an armoured car drop a bag full of thousands of dollars in cash.

It could have been an answer to his money woes, but remarkably Mr Cornell handed the cash straight back to the police – because he wanted his grandchildren to know that he was “a just man that does the right thing”.

He said his first thought was for others who could get hit by the lost cash.

"I just did it because it was the right thing to do. I wasn't sure it anything would come from it that wasn't what I was thinking,” he said.

And now, the Southern Californian man has been rewarded for his good deed by the company who lost the cash.

The Brinks Company said he could keep $5,000 (£2,987) for returning the bag which accidentally fell off the back of one of their trucks.

Mr Cornell’s wife, Virginia Cornell, told America’s KMPH News: "We are going to use the money to pay off my rent and pay off my truck so we can get out of the hole. This is like a new start for us."

"Anyone that needs an honest man to hire, we know that he's an honest man. He just gave back $125,000 that wasn't his,” she added.