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Roomates find $40k in old couch, return it to 91-year-old owner

Good Samaritans. The best.

Image: AP

THREE ROOMMATES WHO found $40,000 stuffed into a second-hand sofa have bought themselves good karma for life by returning it to its rightful owner.

The three had bought the couch at a New York branch of the Salvation Army for $55.

They noticed that the cushions were weirdly lumpy . Then, one night in April, one of them, State University of New York at New Paltz student Reese Werkhoven, opened a zipper on one arm and found an envelope.

We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes.

said Cally Guasti, a social worker with Family of Woodstock who shares an apartment with 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.

Guasti, Werkhoven and roommate Lara Russo opened the other arm zipper and started mining the treasure stashed inside. They counted it up: $40,800. Russo said:

Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed.
I wanted to put it back in the couch and like re-find it in the morning when I can process it better.

Gausti said they spread the money on the bed and started counting.

And we were screaming. In the morning, our neighbours were like ‘We thought you won the lottery’.

Mixed in with the cash was a deposit slip with a woman’s name on it. Werkhoven called her the next morning.

She said, “I have a lot of money in that couch and I really need it”.

They drove to the home of the woman, who turned out to be the elderly woman. She cried in gratitude when they gave her the cash she had hidden away.

The woman’s family had donated the couch to the Salvation Army while she was having health problems.

“It’s not our money”, said Werkhoven. “We didn’t have any right to it”.

Guasti said the cash simply wasn’t theirs. “I think if any of us had used it, it would have felt really wrong”.

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