It Starts With an Ugly Couch
These three roommates are also best friends. They bought a couch for their apartment and discovered something completely unexpected.
So much so that they screamed when they found what was inside the ugly couch.
Reese Werkhoven, Cally Guasti, and Lara Russo were the three roommates who became famous for their discovery and gesture of selflessness, generosity, and kindness. The three New York college students moved in together and, like many college roommates that find themselves in a new apartment, were missing a couch.
The roomies were looking for a couch to complete their living room. So they went to a thrift store and looked for a couch that would fit in their living room. They eventually found one and bought it for only 20$. The couch itself isn’t special in any way.
But little did they know that they were in for a massive surprise.
Getting the Couch Home
The roommates were excited that they finally bought a couch, and for only 20 bucks! The friends wanted to take it home right away to their apartment in New Paltz. But something drew their attention to a certain part of the couch and they had to change it.
And so one night, after watching a movie on their new, but not-so-new couch, the three roomies said that there were some parts of the couch that didn’t feel as comfy as the rest of it due to some crinkles in the pillows. So they did something that not anyone would have done.
Taking it Apart
They started ripping the built-in side pillows of the couch. In turn, a regular night on the couch, watching a movie, suddenly turned into an unforgettable night.
Usually, taking apart an old couch is uneventful. You rip a piece here, rip piece there. And in the end, you either have a better-looking piece of furniture or you find yourself going to the store and looking for something to replace it because you went too far.
But this case of ‘couch-ripping’ was eventful, to say the least.
What They Found
After the roommates tore up the parts of the couch, they found a goldmine! There were almost an inch and a half of 100 dollar bills that were stacked into the pillows. Whoever placed the money there chose to put the bills in envelopes covered them in bubble wrap.
So imagine this: you take apart a couch and find stacks of bills! What would you do next? The roommates did what you probably would do as well…
Counting the Money
That’s right, they counted the money. It’s only natural to want to know how much money they had in their hands. Literally! That night, the shocked friends started counting the money. They were curious also to know how much more was stored in the couch
“When we were in the bedroom our neighbors thought we won the lottery or something cause we were just screaming,” Guasti claimed. “We were just really freaked out by it,” Werkhoven said.
How much money do you think they found?
An Insane Amount
They were counting the money and screaming, a surely amusing scene. After about 20 minutes of counting the bills from the envelopes, the roommates realized in awe that they had been sitting on a $41,000 goldmine! And to think they only spent $20 for the thing!
At first, the college students started to daydream. What would they do with the money? Oh, the places they could go. The things they could buy! They even got responsible and took into consideration student loans and traveling around the world as well as helping out their parents.
What to do With the Money
They spoke about what they intended to do with the money. “I would have bought my mom a new car. What she drives is a piece of junk, and I really wanted to surprise her with a brand-new car.” Werkhoven said.
But all of the daydreamings had to eventually come to an end because they came across another discovery hidden among the envelopes. One of the envelopes had something written on it. Something that would change their minds about what to do with the money.
What did the envelope say?
The one envelope that had something written on it was a turn of events. On the envelope was written the name of a woman.
Now they knew that this money likely belonged to the woman whose name is written on it. They had to make a decision. Now, the roommates were faced with a dilemma. Should they keep the money for themselves or should they try to trace down the owner?
“We had a lot of moral discussions about the money. 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.” Russo said. The three didn’t feel comfortable spending someone else’s life savings on personal things.
“The entitlement very quickly went away with finding that notice with her name on it. Because we didn’t earn that money,” Guasti said. The roommates along with their parents started to look for the real owner.
Did they find the mysterious owner?
Finding the Woman
The next day, the three friends found the number of the woman whose name was written on the envelope. And they did next is truly heartwarming…
Werkhoven quickly called the woman and gave her the news. She said: “I’m like, ‘I found something that I think is yours,’ and she’s like, ‘What?!’” And I’m like, ‘I found a couch,’ and then she’s like, ‘oh my God, I left a lot of money in that couch.’” Werkhoven claimed.
Meeting the Woman
They ended the phone conversation after deciding to set up a meeting. The three roommates wanted to return the money to the woman who never even thought she would see that money again, especially not the entire sum!
When the three students returned the money to the woman, they found out that they were literally sitting on top of the life savings of an elderly woman. They felt good knowing giving back the money.
And the woman’s words were emotional…
“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 claimed.
The woman didn’t know where else she should put her life savings so the best place she could think of was the couch. She used to sleep on that couch for 30 years, so she knew it was a safe spot to hide something so valuable.
She Needed the Money
Unfortunately, the old woman needed to back surgery. And she had to spend a few months in a rehabilitation center. And her daughter did something that she believed would help her mother. But in reality, it cost her thousands of dollars
When the woman came back from the rehabilitation center, her daughter had bought her a new bed so that she won’t have problems sleeping on an old couch. She had no idea that her mother was storing wads of cash inside!
The three roommates undoubtedly felt lucky to find so much money. But the elderly woman surely felt even luckier when she got that fateful phone call from some college student.
If you found $41,000 would you decide to return the money to the owner? In the end, the selfless students did the right thing. They knew what they had to do and the woman is certainly thankful for it.
Apparently, finding money in old couches is the only wacky thing ever found in unexpected places. Let’s go through other profitable finds that people have found in spots they never would imagine finding something of value.
Let’s begin with whiskey that was found under floorboards. Bryan Fite, a resident of Missouri, found a hidden stash of century-old whiskey bottles underneath the floors in his attic. The rare bottles of whiskey have been sold for as much as $200,000!
Gold Nuggets Found In Bush
Gardeners in a Swiss town near the German border called Klingnau found a number of unmarked gold bars, known as “ingots,” in a bush while cutting grass.
source: Getty Images
The 10 bars are worth an estimated $126,000. Can you imagine? You’re cutting grass and find yourself on a goldmine.
Wedding Ring Found In Newly Bought Car
A couple from Sacramento bought a car and a few months later they found a wedding ring in between the seats. Turns out, the ring is a 1961 wedding ring.
The amount hasn’t been reported, but considering it’s gold and from the 1960s, it’s likely to have some value to it.
Meteorite Found In Park
A mom from California found a meteorite at a local park that she normally goes to with her dog and kids. The meteorite is worth more than gold.
source: Getty Images
Next time you go out for a walk in a park, we bet you’re going to be looking all over the ground for strange looking rocks.
Original Picasso Print Found In Thrift Store
Thrift store finds can be really fun. When you think you’re buying a random vintage item, it might actually worth a fortune.
source: Photo by George Stroud/Getty Images
An unemployed man sold an original Picasso print that he found in a thrift store for $7,000. That’s a great day for anyone, let alone someone who doesn’t have a job!
Money Discovered In a Backyard
Another instance in which an unemployed man lucks out. A man from Illinois man found duffle bags full of cash totaling $150,000 in his backyard.
source: The Green Head
We don’t know what he did with the money, though. But considering the duffle bags and cash, something illegal must have brought the money to that backyard.
Engagement Ring Fished Out Of Toilet
The last place you’d expect to find a ring is in the toilet. A man found his wife’s engagement ring in a toilet 36 years after she had lost it.
Rumor has it he went down on one knee again and proposed to her for a second time. But let’s just hope that he washed that ring thoroughly.
Money Found in Attic
What is it about attics and secrets or hidden treasures? A family in Salt Lake City found $40,000 in cash in the attic of their recently-purchased home.
No, they didn’t keep the money. They returned the cash to the rightful owner. Just like the three roommates who found the couch; they had to do the right thing.
Diamond Ring Recovered From Sewer
It seems as though rings are a popular item that go missing. A worker in Idaho found a diamond ring in a sewer. He returned the ring to its rightful owner.
The owner reported that she thought she had lost her ring forever when she accidentally flushed it down the toilet. She never thought she would see it again.
Salvador Dali Sketch Found At Goodwill
Shea Munroe is a Federal Way Quality Control Officer who stumbled upon an etching by the infamous surrealist painter Salvador Dali at a Goodwill in Tacoma, Washington.
Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images
Goodwill went on to sell it for $21,005 in an online auction. We hope the money was donated to charity.
Money Found In a Purse At Marshalls
Cheryl Gavazzi was shopping at Marshalls in Beverly, Massachusetts. She saw a purse which she thought was an item of merchandise. But when she opened it up, she found $11,000 in cash.
She handed the bag over to the police, who found the original owner. The owner said the money was being used to build a church in Guatemala.
A Book With Cash Hidden In The Pages
A man from Wellesley, Massachusetts found $20,000 in cash hidden in the pages of a book he found at a used book-swap.
The man wanted to remain anonymous but said anyone with info on the books rightful owner could contact him.
Whale Vomit Worth Thousands
An 8-year-old boy named Charlie Naysmith discovered what he thought was a rock when walking along the Hengistbury Head beach in Great Britain.
Source: NBC News
The boy had actually found ambergris, which is a substance barfed or pooped up by sperm whales. The piece is estimated to be worth $63,000.
Baseball Cards In an Attic
Karl Kissner, a man from Toledo, Ohio found a collection of baseball cards in his grandfather’s attic. They ended up being worth more than he ever would have imagined.
The 37 baseball cards featuring Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young, and Honus Wagner were worth $566,132.
Remember the old lady that put her life savings in the couch? Yeah, she’s not the only one who had the idea of stashing cash in the house. It may be a somewhat old-fashioned method of saving money. And there’s a reason why it started.
Stashing cash under the mattress is a common theme in pop culture. You see it in movies. And it might have originated from the Great Depression era.
The Great Depression
Great Depression-era bank runs created a need for cash storage in the home. The dirty thirties and the widespread poverty in that era meant that safes were no longer affordable for the poor masses.
Source: Getty Images
So people did what they figured the only option was: to sleep on your cash. Sleeping on top of your life savings was the safest way to keep the money if you didn’t have a lock and a key.
Distrust of Banks
During the Great Depression, there was a real deep distrust of financial institutions. Not just in America, but all over the world. After the stock market crash of 1929, Americans were afraid of what those who held their money might do with it.
Source: Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
So, instead of leaving their money and their futures to the bankers, many people engaged in what became known as a bank run. What’s a bank run? We’ll tell you…
The term “bank run” refers to what people used to do when they feared that a bank may not have enough cash to pay back their deposits. They would rush to their bank and withdraw all of their funds before they could be lost.
Source: Photo by: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images
The problem with bank runs is that banks didn’t usually have the actual cash ready on location. Many banks had to close, leaving the customers still invested in the bank. With all the panic and fear, people decided that storing money in the safety of their own homes was the best thing to do.
Mattresses Aren’t the Only Spot to Stash Cash
You may have noticed other cash stashes in movies that you grew up watching. Mattresses aren’t the only place to hide money.
The teapot is a popular pop culture image you see when someone is either stashing or finding cash. The teapot is another artifact of the Great Depression. It served as a fire-proof place to hide cash.
Walls are good places for cockroaches and rats to hang out. But they’re also a popular hiding spot for cold hard cash.
Source: The Independent
One antique appraiser found nearly $200,000 in coins inside of a home he was evaluating. Next time you do home repairs, you never know – you might find something stored in your walls.
The Freezer and Sock Drawer
Frozen assets? The freezer is actually a popular spot for Americans to stash cash. According to a study, 27% of those who hide their money put it on ice.
Source: The Balance
The sock drawer is another surprisingly common hiding place. 20% of those who keep cash in the home, keep it in the sock drawer. Perhaps the smell helps keep people out.
The Cookie Jar and the Floor
The cookie jar, like the mattress and the teapot, is a Depression-era remnant. Around one in ten people who keep cash at home, store it in the cookie jar.
Source: Photo By Lyn Alweis/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Floorboards serve as money safes, too. Reddit user Evil-English found two separate floor safes in his grandparents’ home that were full of cash, coins, pistols, and jewelry.
Other Places You Haven’t Thought of
You might not have considered these places if you’ve wondered where you can keep money. Have you ever thought of storing money behind the clock? Or how about in a flashlight?
There are even people that store bills inside pens. The creativity of stash cash begs the question: who are you hiding from to such a high level?
Traveling with Money
On the topic of hiding money, another common fear among travelers is losing their money or even being mugged. So here are some tips for keeping your money safe when traveling.
First things first: split up your money. Never keep all of it in one place. And you should keep it on your body, as opposed to in a bag.
Part of traveling smart is knowing where to hold your money. There are security belts with hidden wallets for this exact purpose. So it might be worth investing in one.
Hidden pockets are quite popular features of travel garments. Not just belts. There are scarves, socks, shirts, and hats with hidden compartments that can be used to store cash. Travel safe, friends!