Roommates find $40,000 stuffed down their sofa, and track down its 91-year-old owner
“My mouth was literally hanging open - everybody's was - it was an unfathomable amount," said one roommate
Three young roommates who bought an worn-out second-hand sofa and found $40,000 (£24,000) stuffed inside it, have returned the money to its original 91-year-old owner.
The roommates bought the couch for $55 (£33) at a Salvation Army shop in March, and noticed that there were odd bulges and lumps in its arms.
One night in April, flatmate and student Reese Werkhoven, of New York City, opened a zipper on one arm and found an envelope containing $4,000 (£2,385) wrapped in bubble wrap.
Opening the other compartments, Cally Guasti, Mr Werkhoven and third roommate Lara Russo discovered $48,800 (£24,330) in cash-filled envelopes.
“We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes,” said Ms Guasti, a social worker for the US charity Family of Woodstock, who shares a flat with her 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.”
“We put it all on a bed,” Ms 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.”
But when the group later found a deposit slip with a woman’s name written on it, Ms Werkhoven called her the next morning.
“She said, 'I have a lot of money in that couch and I really need it,”' Ms Guasti said.
They drove to the home of the woman, who cried in gratitude when they gave her the cash she had stashed away.
The woman's family had donated the couch to the Salvation Army while she was having health problems.
Ms Guasti said the three had considered the option of keeping the money, but decided they could not bring themselves to go through with it.
“At the end of the day, it wasn't ours,” she said. “I think if any of us had used it, it would have felt really wrong.”
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...