What would you do if you found $40,000 in a used couch you purchased? This wasn’t a hypothetical question for college students of SUNY New Paltz.

Reese Werkhoven and some friends of hers purchased a used couch at the Salvation Army in March for $55. It wasn’t until April when the students discovered the cash in the couch, after noticing the arms of the couch were weirdly lumpy.

The three students recovered $40,800 in several envelopes and bubble wrap. But also mixed in the with the cash was a deposit slip with the name of the woman that the money belonged to.

Now what? All three of the students agreed they should return the money to the rightful owner.

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

Turns out, the couch was donated by family members of a 91-year-old lady who was very happy to get her dough back.

Luckily, the couch fell into the hands of folks who know right from wrong. Now, had there not been a deposit slip or any way of tracking the person the cash belonged to, the outcome may have been different.

This story gets me thinking about the one time I found cash. It was $40 that I found on the ground near my car. It was a windy night, and nobody was around to claim it but myself and my friend Scott. Instead of leaving it there to blow away, we took it and bought scratch-off tickets, which we won $100 on. That was a pretty lucky night for me.