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>>

  • PHOTOS: 10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    PHOTOS: 10-year-old goldfish has surgery to remove tumor

    Monday, September 15 2014 2:39 PM EDT2014-09-15 18:39:15 GMT
    KHQ.COM - You could say that George the Goldfish is one lucky fish. When George's owners who were reportedly "very attached to him," learned that George had a life-threatening tumor, instead of putting him down or waiting for nature to take its course, they opted for a life-saving operation to save little George's life.>>
    KHQ.COM - You could say that George the Goldfish is one lucky fish. When George's owners who were reportedly "very attached to him," learned that George had a life-threatening tumor, instead of putting him down or waiting for nature to take its course, they opted for a life-saving operation to save little George's life.
    >>
  • WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    WATCH: Rarely seen 9/11 Budweiser commercial that aired only once

    Thursday, September 11 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-09-12 00:52:54 GMT
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
    KHQ.COM - This Budweiser commercial was produced after the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it hasn't been widely seen because Budweiser only aired it once so as not to benefit financially from it - they just wanted to acknowledge the tragic event.>>
  • US: North Korea using U.S. detainees as political pawns

    US: North Korea using U.S. detainees as political pawns

    Monday, September 15 2014 3:06 PM EDT2014-09-15 19:06:56 GMT
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. says North Korea is using detained American citizens as political pawns, after a 24-year-old Californian man was sentenced to six years of hard labor there. Matthew Miller, of Bakersfield, was convicted Sunday of entering the country illegally to commit espionage.>>
    WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. says North Korea is using detained American citizens as political pawns, after a 24-year-old Californian man was sentenced to six years of hard labor there. Matthew Miller, of Bakersfield, was convicted Sunday of entering the country illegally to commit espionage.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Police ask anonymous tipster to call back

    Police ask anonymous tipster to call back

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:58:23 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Major Crimes Unit is asking for the public's help for more information on a fatal shooting that happened in August. Early on August 10, police found the body of 32-year-old Richard Amodio in the parking lot of the Howard Johnson Motel in North Spokane. The motel is on North Division Street just south of where it intersects with East Euclid Avenue.
    >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Police Major Crimes Unit is asking for the public's help for more information on a fatal shooting that happened in August. Early on August 10, police found the body of 32-year-old Richard Amodio in the parking lot of the Howard Johnson Motel in North Spokane. The motel is on North Division Street just south of where it intersects with East Euclid Avenue.

    >>
  • Mounting pressure on NFL commissioner as scandal grows

    Mounting pressure on NFL commissioner as scandal grows

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:33 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:33:16 GMT
    NEW YORK, N.Y.- After a weekend of football, the National Football League remains at risk of getting more attention for its policies and the personal lives of some of its players than the sport itself. And the negative headlines continue with the league in full damage-control mode.>>
    NEW YORK, N.Y.- After a weekend of football, the National Football League remains at risk of getting more attention for its policies and the personal lives of some of its players than the sport itself. And the negative headlines continue with the league in full damage-control mode.
    >>
  • Liberty Lake residents concerned by leak

    Liberty Lake residents concerned by leak

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:24 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:24:12 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Liberty Lake residents who live along I-90 could only sit and wait for about 19 hours as agencies at a weigh station along I-90 worked to contain a chemical leak.Some of those residents told KHQ they weren't aware there'd been a leak that started around 1:30 Sunday afternoon until late that night when they turned on the news.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Liberty Lake residents who live along I-90 could only sit and wait for about 19 hours as agencies at a weigh station along I-90 worked to contain a chemical leak.Some of those residents told KHQ they weren't aware there'd been a leak that started around 1:30 Sunday afternoon until late that night when they turned on the news.>>