awesome - This College Students Bought A Smelly Old Couch For $20 And Accidentally Found A Widow's Secret Fortune


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In 2014, three roommates found something a bit more substantial in the cushions of their new couch than a remote control or some change. So substantial, in fact, that it could have made a huge impact in their lives. Here's their story.


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The three roommates included Reese Werkhoven was a student at SUNY New Paltz. Lara Russo, a SUNY graduate, and Cally Guasti, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. In need of a new couch, they purchased one for $20 at a Salvation Army store. It was a pretty good deal.


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A couple months later, the three roommates were watching a movie together in the living room. That's when they felt something odd in a couple of the couch's pillows. Naturally, they investigated further.


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Werkhoven said that after digging further, they found a bubble wrap envelope in the pillow. And inside that envelope? A cool $700. “I almost peed,” he said.


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Then they found even more. “(The pillow) had these bubble wrap envelopes, just like two or three of them,” Werkhoven said. “We ripped them out and (I) was just like freaking out, (there was) like an inch and a half of $100 bills.”


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This led the roommates to completely search through the entire couch. And the search was worth it. After digging through it thoroughly, they found many more envelopes of money, with a total of $40,000.


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That much cash was worthy of celebration. “When we were in the bedroom our neighbors thought we won the lottery or something cause we were just screaming,” Guasti said. But after a while, a complication arose.


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On one of the envelopes, they saw a woman's name. And they realized that there was a good chance this money actually belongs to the person on the envelope. Now what do they do?


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“We all agreed that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to,” Russo said. “It’s their money– we didn’t earn it. However, there were a lot of gray areas we had to consider.”


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They each called their parents to ask for advice. “My mom said that I have a good moral compass,” Russo said, “and if I don’t think that someone is a good person, or deserving of the money, then I’m not obligated to give it to them. This really threw me off. Where do you draw the line? It’s all very subjective.”


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The next day, after Werkhoven's mother found the woman's name in the phone book, he gave her a call. She said that she had, in fact, left a lot of money in the couch. So the roommates made arrangements to meet up with her.


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They drove up to meet her, not knowing what to expect. When they got to the rustic home, they were greeted by the woman's daughter and granddaughter. “I could just tell right away that these were nice people,” Werkhoven said.


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The woman, now a widow, explained that her husband had a heart condition that he knew would take his life. So he gave her money each week so she'd be able to support herself after he died. And she wound up sticking all that money in her couch.


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She also had made a habit of sleeping on the couch, but it was hurting her back. Her doctor advised her daughter to replace the couch with a full bed. Not knowing about the money, they donated the couch to the Salvation Army. And that's how it got to the roommates.


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The roommates were happy to return the money, especially after finding out it was going to someone who really needed it. Then as a reward, the woman gave them $1,000 for giving the money back. “This was her life savings,” Guasti said, “and she actually said something really beautiful like ‘this is my husband looking down on me and this was supposed to happen.'”

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