Roommates Return $40K Found in Old Sofa

Cash was widow's life savings

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 16, 2014 2:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 91-year-old widow in New York state has been reunited with her life savings thanks to the honesty of three young roommates who found the cash in a beat-up sofa they bought from the Salvation Army. Months after buying the couch, the trio were astonished to discover $40,000 stashed in the arm cushions, the AP reports. After finding a name written on an envelope, they contacted the sofa's former owner and discovered she had stored her savings in it for more than 30 years.

While the elderly woman was in hospital after an operation on her back, her daughter unknowingly got rid of the couch her mother slept on and replaced it with a full-sized bed. After the find, "we had a lot of moral discussions about the money," one of the roommates tells Little Rebellion. "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." They say that after they handed the money back, she cried in gratitude, and rewarded them with $1,000. (A homeless man recently did something similar—for a second time.)

Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on the Salvation Army sofa in their apartment in New Paltz, NY.
Lara Russo, left, Cally Guasti, center, and Reese Werkhoven sit on the Salvation Army sofa in their apartment in New Paltz, NY.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Lara Russo, Cally Guasti and Reese Werkhoven sit on the sofa in their apartment in New Paltz, NY.
Lara Russo, Cally Guasti and Reese Werkhoven sit on the sofa in their apartment in New Paltz, NY.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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