Three college roommates at SUNY New Paltz in New York bought a used couch for $20 and ended up finding $40,000 cash stashed away inside.
Third-year geology student Reese Werkhoven, Mount Holyoke College graduate Cally Guasti and SUNY New Paltz graduate Lara Russo were sitting on their new couch for the first time, when Werkhoven found a plastic envelope under the couch’s patchy arm.
“I almost peed,” Werkhoven said. Inside the envelope was a wad of twenties that added up to $700. “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.”
They searched the couch and found other envelopes stuffed with money.
“It had these bubble wrap envelopes, just like two or three of them. We ripped them out and was just like freaking out, like and inch and a half of hundred dollar bills,” Werkhoven said.
“Just when we thought we pulled out the last envelope we’d find another $1,000 a few minutes later,” said Guasti.
They found one envelope with a woman’s name on it. After much debate, the roommates decided to give the money back to it’s owner.
“We had a lot of moral discussions about the money,” Russo said. “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.”
Werkhoven’s mom found the woman’s name and number in a phone book, so they gave her a call. Werkhoven told the woman he thought he had bought her couch from the Salvation Army.
She immediately replied “oh, I left a lot of money in that couch.”
The 91-year-old woman told the roommates that her late husband had given her money every week for a span of 30 years, and she placed it in the couch for safekeeping.
The woman was eventually hospitalized for an operation. When she had to go to rehabilitation after a back surgery, her daughter and son-in-law gave the couch to the Salvation Army not knowing the money was hidden in between the cushions, and replaced it with a full-size bed.
“When we handed the money back to the woman, she told us that she felt like her husband was present in the room with us,” Guasti told the Little Rebellion.
The woman gave the three roommates $1,000 for returning the money, according to The Little Rebellion.
Roommates find more than $40,000 in couch
Three roommates in New York were shocked to find $41,000 in a couch they bought from Salvation Army.