What would you do if you found hundreds of thousands of dollars somewhere you’d least expect it? Would you return it? Donate it? Keep it for yourself? It turns out, finding loads of money isn’t as uncommon as you may think. In fact, lots of people have found large sums of money in strange places—like the man who found almost $100,000 in a desk he bought off Craigslist!
A Smelly Salvation Army Couch With A Sweet Surprise
The Little Rebellion via New York Daily News
Three New York college students were just looking for a couch to supplement their living room. Trying to find an inexpensive option, the trio went to their local Salvation Army where they found a decent couch for $20.
“We almost didn’t pick that couch. It’s pretty ugly and smells, but it was the only couch that fit the right dimensions for our living room,” Lara Russo told The Little Rebellion in 2014. But one night, while she and her two roommates were watching movies on their new-to-them piece of furniture, they noticed an odd crinkle in the cushions.
Finding The Cash Faced The Students With A Moral Dilemma
They dug into the couch and found an envelope that contained a stack of twenty-dollar bills that totaled $700. The students, shocked at this first find, decided to perform a complete excavation of the couch and soon found they were sitting on $40,000 cash. The students’ collective bubble was burst when they found a woman’s name on one of the envelopes and were then faced with a moral dilemma. Should they keep the money or should they track down its rightful owner? Ultimately, they kept the cash a secret until they could track down the woman whose name was on the envelope.
The Right Action Reaps Rewards For These Students
Mike Groll/AP via NPR
Worried that the rightful owner of the cash would be a “bad person,” they were delighted to discover that the money belonged to an old woman whose late husband left her the money in preparation of his passing. The woman, who preferred to remain unidentified, stored the money in the couch for years until a back surgery prompted her daughter to replace the couch with a real bed—which is how the couch ended up at the store the students bought it from. The woman thought the money was lost forever, but she kindly rewarded them $1,000 for their honesty.
Wait until you read about the man who wouldn’t even accept an award for returning almost $100,000 he found in a desk!
Cash Found On Highway Came With An Abandoned Baby
KWTW-TV via CBS News
What would you do if you found thousands of dollars in cash that also came with a baby?! This is what happened to an Oklahoma church group on the way home from a field trip in September 2017. Members of the group spotted an abandoned baby boy ten feet from the shoulder of a highway. When officers arrived, they found the one-month-old baby with his birth certificate, social security card, and $5,500 in cash stuffed in his car seat.
The baby’s mother was located and admitted to the hospital for evaluation while the baby was placed under state custody.
The Extra Baggage On This Flight Was Worth Millions
Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg/Getty Images via CNBC
If you think that’s crazy, imagine finding millions of dollars in the form of gold bars in an airplane bathroom! That’s exactly what happened to the crew of a Jet Airways Boeing 737 when they were cleaning out the lavatory after landing in Kolkata, India from Bangkok. The crew found two bags—the contents of which were inspected and later revealed to be 24 gold bars worth $1.2 million. Customs officials confiscated the gold, which is said to have originated in the United Arab Emirates. India is internationally known as a major gold importer and gold import taxes have led to an increase in smuggling.
They Say To Be Wary Of Business On Craigslist…
WTNH via New York Daily News
Here is another case that makes us want to buy some used furniture solely for the hope of finding cold hard cash. In 2013, Rabbi Noah Muroff of Connecticut used Craiglist to purchase a desk for his study. Muroff and his wife found a desk for $150 and subsequently went to a woman’s house to purchase the desk. The desk fit perfectly in the Muroff’s minivan but unfortunately wouldn’t fit through the doorway of their home, prompting them to take the desk apart. That’s when they discovered a plastic bag containing $98,000 hidden in the desk drawers.
We bet you’re curious about your old furniture now, but coming up, you’ll find out why you might want to have your walls inspected!
Thousands Of Dollars Were Hidden In The Drawers
WTNH via New York Daily News
Of course, Muroff is a holy man and decided that the only thing to do was to return the money. “If God wants us to have $98,000, he’ll make sure to give it to us in some other way,” Muroff told ABC News. The next day, Muroff made a trip back to the home of the woman from whom he bought the desk. She told Muroff that the money was part of an inheritance she received and thought the money was misplaced somewhere in her house. Muroff even brought his four kids with him to return the cash, “to teach them a lesson about ‘honesty and doing that which is right.'”
Rabbi Muroff Did Not Need Rewards For His Good Deed
Muroff told news outlets that had he and his wife not disassembled the desk, they would have never found the money. He and his wife decided it was best not to accept a reward for their good deed. Instead, the woman gave them back the money they paid her for the desk with a note that said, “I do not think there are too many people in this word that would have done what you did by calling me. I do like to believe that there are still good people left in this crazy world we live in. You are certainly one of them.”
It Was As If The Walls Were Speaking To Him
H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images
Jeff Bidelman was appraising the furniture in an abandoned home of a Pennsylvania family when he came across $200,000 worth of coins. Bidelman found a peculiar hole in a wall of the home and asked the homeowner’s daughter about it. The daughter said that when she was younger, she was told rumors about people throwing their money into the hole. Upon her permission, Bidelman tore down the wall and out poured tons of coins dating all the way back to 1826. Together, all the coins found amounted to $200,000, which is now in possession of the homeowner’s daughter.
This wasn’t the only home that had hidden treasure in the walls and the next one certainly came with a lot of drama.
The Rewards The Came Floating Down The River
Fox Austin via Texas Monthly
In 2012, a homeless Texas man named Timothy Yost was washing his feet in the Colorado River when he found a bag floating by. After kicking the bag aside, he heard a weird noise which prompted him to open it. Inside, Yost found seventy $100 bills and 40 gold coins from South Africa. Yost went to a local bank to exchange the wet bills for dry ones, after which police confiscated the money. For months the city of Bastrop acted as custodian of the money, while they waited for someone to come forward as the money’s rightful owner. But since no one came up, the city ultimately decided to reward the money back to Yost, who ended up getting $77,000.
Columbian Man Finds Pablo Escobar’s Cash On His Land
This next one may or may not be a hoax, but imagine how you’d feel if you found $600 million that belonged to Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Rumor has it that Escobar hid much of his cash in pits all over Columbia. In 2015, reports circulated about a Columbian farmer named Jose Mariena Cartolos, who allegedly found one of these pits on his family’s land. Cartolos was given a grant to develop his land into a palm oil plantation and hit a barrel while digging a trench. The barrel contained $600 million in cash but was reportedly seized by the Colombian government to go towards social and economic programs.
They Argued Over The Finder’s Fee After Finding Cash In The Bathroom Wall
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
In 2006, Contractor Bob Kitts was remodeling a home of a former classmate, Amanda Reece, when he tore into the bathroom wall and found two hidden lockboxes. The lockboxes contained envelopes with the return address labeled “P. Dunne News Agency.” The contents of the envelopes: $182,000 in Depression-era currency. Both Kitts and Reece were ecstatic over the find, but things took a sour turn when it came time to split the money. Reece wanted to give Kitts ten percent, but Kitts demanded 40 percent as a finder’s fee. The dispute was then taken to court and the story gained local publicity.
We know you might be checking out the walls of your old house, but have you tried looking in the back of your television? One man in Canada did…
They Did Not Stop To Think If The Cash Had A Rightful Owner
After word got out about the findings, the descendants of P. Dunne got involved. Patrick Dunne was a wealthy businessman at the brink of the Great Depression and he hid his newly minted cash within the walls of his home before banks all over the United States had collapsed. The money wasn’t found again until over 70 years later. In their dispute over who was entitled to the right amount of the found cash, apparently neither Kitts nor Reece thought to seek out Dunne’s descendants, probably because the money was from an entirely different era.
All Parties Were Rewarded But It Was Still Considered A Loss
At the end of the entire debacle, Kitts, Reece, and Dunne’s 21 descendants were all given mere thousands out of the $182,000 that was found. Before the case was taken to court, Reece had already spent a considerable amount of the cash, but subsequently had to file for bankruptcy. Kitts lost business because the media portrayed him as a greedy man in the case. Gid Marcinkevicius, who represented the Dunne estate, said, “If these two individuals had sat down and resolved their disputes and divided the money, the heirs would have had no knowledge of it. Because they were not able to sit down and divide it in a rational way, they both lost.”
Man Raises Money For Do-Gooder Who Was Only Given A Plaque
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
In 2013, homeless Boston man Glen James found an abandoned backpack at the South Bay Mall. Inside he found $2,400 in cash, along with almost $40,000 in traveler’s checks and a passport. Instead of taking the money for himself, James reported the findings to the police. The Boston Police department returned the backpack and its contents to its rightful owner, a student visiting from China, and rewarded James with a plaque for his good deed. But a local citizen heard about this and decided to start a GoFundMe campaign for James, raising over $100,000 in just a few days to help James get his life back on track.
Glen James wasn’t the only one to miraculously come into $100,000, as you will soon find out!
He Found The Declaration Of Independence At A Flea Market
John S Lander/LightRocket via Getty Images
In 1989, an unidentified man purchased an old painting at a Pennsylvania flea market for just four dollars. The painting was a dark country scene with an unrecognizable signature by the artist. The man hated the painting and only bought it for its frame, which upon taking it home, he found to be unsalvagable. This anonymous art collector ended up discarding the frame and its painting, but not before recovering what he found attached to the back of the painting—an old printing of the Declaration of Independence. “It was folded up, about the size of a business envelope. He thought it might be an early 19th-century printing and worth keeping as a curiosity,” the New York Times reported.
There Are Not Very Many Original Copies In Existence
Jim Evans/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
However, upon the urging of a friend, the unidentified collector took his newly acquired Declaration of Independence to Sotheby’s to be evaluated. As it turned out, the collector’s copy was one of the original printings of the Declaration of Independence. There are only 24 original copies in known existence and only three of them are in private hands. “The discovery of any first-printing copy of the declaration, even a fragmentary one or a poor copy, would be exciting,” said Selby Kiffer, a printing specialist at Sotheby’s, to the New York Times.
The Collector’s Copy Was Bought For Millions Of Dollars
L. Cohen/WireImage/Getty Images
In 1991, the New York Times reported that the collector’s copy of the Declaration of Independence was auctioned off for $2.42 million at Sotheby’s. It was purchased by Donald J. Scheer, who was the president of an Atlanta-based fine arts investment firm. Then, nine years later in 2000, the million-dollar document was purchased again, this time for four times what it was originally sold for. Television producer Norman Lear (All in the Family, Maude) bought the document for a whopping $8.14 million and had plans to show it in a national patriotic road show.
A TV Set From The ’80s Held An Expensive Blast From The Past
Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images
When employees at an Ontario-based recycling plant were given an ’80s television set, they didn’t expect to find $100,000 inside! The television in question had been sent to recycling and was among heaps of junk for a year before the crew at Global Electric Electronic Processing got their hands on it in early 2017. When they took off the wooden backing from the television, a cash box revealed itself and its contents included $100,000-worth of $50-bills (we’re talking Canadian money, of course). Because the television was given to them, GEEP wasn’t obligated to return the money, but they did so anyway since their company is “built on security and integrity,” the National Post reports.
Would You End Up Doing What This Guy Did?!
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
The Ontario police helped GEEP trace the television set back to a man who has lived in Bolsover, Ontario in the same house for over 30 years. The man, who was overjoyed to hear his money had been retrieved, didn’t even realize the money was lost. The money had been given to him as an inheritance from his parents, so he hid the cash in the back of his television back in the ’80s. He must have forgotten about it over the years, which is why he ended up handing the television over for recycling. We can’t imagine just “forgetting” about $100,000!