Roommates Find $40,000 Dollars Stuffed In Old Sofa They Bought F - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Roommates Find $40,000 Dollars Stuffed In Old Sofa They Bought For $20

Posted: Updated:
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. —

For all the screaming and carrying on, their neighbors thought they'd won the lottery. But it was a lumpy old sofa stuffed with $40,000 in cash that had three young roommates raising a ruckus.

And here's the other side of the ticket: They returned the money to the 91-year-old widow whose couch had been given away.

"We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes," said Cally Guasti, a social worker with Family of Woodstock who shares an apartment with two friends in New Paltz, 75 miles north of New York City. "My mouth was literally hanging open — everybody's was — it was an unfathomable amount."

Guasti told The Associated Press on Thursday that she and her friends had bought the beat-up couch and a chair for $55 at a Salvation Army thrift shop in March. They noticed the arm cushions were weirdly lumpy. Then, one night in April, one of them, State University of New York at New Paltz student Reese Werkhoven, opened a zipper on one arm and found an envelope.

It contained $4,000 in bubble-wrapped bills.

Guasti, Werkhoven and roommate Lara Russo opened the other arm zipper and started mining the treasure stashed inside. They counted it up: $40,800.

"Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed," Russo said. "I wanted to put it back in the couch and like re-find it in the morning when I can process it better."

Gausti said they spread the money on the bed and started counting.

"And we were screaming," she said "In the morning, our neighbors were like, 'We thought you won the lottery.'"

Mixed in with the cash was a deposit slip with a woman's name on it. Werkhoven called her the next morning.

"She said, 'I have a lot of money in that couch and I really need it,'" Guasti said.

They drove to the home of the woman, who turned out to be the elderly woman. She cried in gratitude when they gave her the cash she had hidden away.

The woman's family had donated the couch to the Salvation Army while she was having health problems.

"It's not our money, said Werkhoven, of New York City. "We didn't have any right to it."

Guasti said the cash simply wasn't theirs. "I think if any of us had used it, it would have felt really wrong."

Copyright The Associated Press

- See more at: http://www.kirotv.com/ap/ap/strange/roommates-buy-20-used-couch-find-40k-in-cash/nfxNm/#sthash.DeRSYLwn.dpuf

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. - For all the screaming and carrying on, their neighbors thought they'd won the lottery. But it was a lumpy old sofa stuffed with $40,000 in cash that had three young roommates raising a ruckus.

And here's the other side of the ticket: They returned the money to the 91-year-old widow whose couch had been given away.

"We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes," said Cally Guasti, a social worker with Family of Woodstock who shares an apartment with two friends in New Paltz, 75 miles north of New York City. "My mouth was literally hanging open — everybody's was — it was an unfathomable amount."

Guasti told The Associated Press on Thursday that she and her friends had bought the beat-up couch and a chair for $55 at a Salvation Army thrift shop in March. They noticed the arm cushions were weirdly lumpy. Then, one night in April, one of them, State University of New York at New Paltz student Reese Werkhoven, opened a zipper on one arm and found an envelope.

It contained $4,000 in bubble-wrapped bills.

Guasti, Werkhoven and roommate Lara Russo opened the other arm zipper and started mining the treasure stashed inside. They counted it up: $40,800.

"Honestly, I was a little overwhelmed," Russo said. "I wanted to put it back in the couch and like re-find it in the morning when I can process it better."

Gausti said they spread the money on the bed and started counting.

"And we were screaming," she said "In the morning, our neighbors were like, 'We thought you won the lottery.'"

Mixed in with the cash was a deposit slip with a woman's name on it. Werkhoven called her the next morning.

"She said, 'I have a lot of money in that couch and I really need it,'" Guasti said.

They drove to the home of the woman, who turned out to be the elderly woman. She cried in gratitude when they gave her the cash she had hidden away.

The woman's family had donated the couch to the Salvation Army while she was having health problems.

"It's not our money, said Werkhoven, of New York City. "We didn't have any right to it."

Guasti said the cash simply wasn't theirs. "I think if any of us had used it, it would have felt really wrong."

Copyright The Associated Press

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:42:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • 44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    44 Riverside homes destroyed or damaged in storm

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:46 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:46:53 GMT
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
    RIVERSIDE, Wash. - Many families were still at the Red Cross Shelter set up at Riverside High School in Riverside this morning.An afternoon storm destroyed or damaged 44 of their homes and knocked down close to 100 trees in Riverside Village Mobile Home Park.Many residents said the storm looked like a tornado as it swept through their neighborhood.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Israeli bombardment kills at least 100, knocks out power plant

    Israeli bombardment kills at least 100, knocks out power plant

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:17 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:17:34 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - In the three weeks of war with Israel, residents of Gaza hadn't seen the kind of bombardment that Israel unleashed today. The heavy strikes came a day after Israel's prime minister warned of a "prolonged" campaign against Hamas.>>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - In the three weeks of war with Israel, residents of Gaza hadn't seen the kind of bombardment that Israel unleashed today. The heavy strikes came a day after Israel's prime minister warned of a "prolonged" campaign against Hamas.>>
  • Idaho boy recovering from rattlesnake bite

    Idaho boy recovering from rattlesnake bite

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:26 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:26:12 GMT
    LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A 6-year-old western Idaho boy who suffered a rattlesnake bite on his big toe is recovering in the intensive care unit at a Spokane hospital. Courtney Hines of Culdesac tells the Lewiston Tribune  that her son, Kaden McKenzie, was bitten on Saturday afternoon at the beach, about nine miles south of Asotin.>>
    LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) - A 6-year-old western Idaho boy who suffered a rattlesnake bite on his big toe is recovering in the intensive care unit at a Spokane hospital. Courtney Hines of Culdesac tells the Lewiston Tribune  that her son, Kaden McKenzie, was bitten on Saturday afternoon at the beach, about nine miles south of Asotin.
    >>
  • UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    UPDATE: High Drive brush fire now 100% contained

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:42:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- On Monday afternoon a brush fire broke out on the west side of Spokane's South Hill. The fire, which broke out around 3pm, was burning on the hill between High Drive and Qualchan Golf Course. By 9pm Monday night the fire was 100% contained. This does not necessarily mean the fire is totally out, but that crews are confident it won't spread and will be out soon.>>