NY roommates return $41K found in couch

CNN/WCBS
Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 9:30am

Many people consider what they would do if they were to suddenly become rich.

But what would you do if there was a moral dilemma attached to your new-found riches?

It has been several weeks, but three roommates are still shocked by what they found hidden in their couch.

"We were in awe," said Lara Russo.

Weeks later these three friends can still feel the excitement.

This old and worn down couch the root of it all.

"We were just really freaked out by it," said Reese Werkhoven, who along with roommates Cally Guasti and Lara Russo, was freaked out by what they found hidden inside two built-in couch pillows.

"Just like freaking out like an inch and a half of hundred dollar bills," Werkhoven explained.

The friends eagerly took pictures as they counted the money, nearly $41,000!

"Our neighbors thought we won the lottery or something 'cause we were just screaming," said Cally Guasti.

The excitement quickly faded though when the trio found one envelope with a name on it.

They tracked the woman down, caller her and returned the cash!

"I'm like I found a couch and then she's like oh my God, I'm like, so what, she said I left a lot of money in that couch," Werkhoven explained.

The elderly woman who wants to remain anonymous told the friends she had been stashing the money in the couch for years.

Family members who didn't know, mistakenly donated the couch.

"This was her life savings and she actually said something really beautiful like this is my husband looking down on me and this was supposed to happen," Guasti explained.

"I'd like to imagine anyone would do this," Werkhoven said.

The friends say they have no regrets about doing the right thing, in fact they hope to one day soon have dinner with the family they returned the money to.

The roommates did end up with some cash, in the end.

As a reward, the elderly woman gave them $1,000.

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