Imagine this- you buy a ratty old couch at a second-hand store and discover $40,000 stuffed inside it. What would you do?

SUNY New Paltz student Reese Werkhoven and roommates Cally Guasti and Lara Russo bought what they called an “ugly, smelly” couch for $20. For whatever reason, Reese started digging around in the couch and found an envelope with $700 in it. He and his friends went to town searching the whole couch and came up with a staggering $40,000.

Roommate Lara spotted a woman’s name on one of the envelopes and the roommates sat down to discuss what they should do.

“We all agreed that we had to bring the money back to whoever it belonged to . . . We didn’t earn it.” Lara said.

So the roommates tracked down the woman. She was elderly and widowed and said that her husband gave her money every week to store in the couch before he died. The woman kept the money stashed for years, but when she had to have a heart operation, her daughter sold the couch to make room for a bed without realizing it was stuffed with cash.

The woman asked not to be named, but gave the roommates $1,000 as a reward and told them she felt like her husband was “present in the room” when the students handed her the money.