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YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia
YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

Mom Takes Couch from Grieving Family Thinking It's a Gimmick, Finds a Lot of Money Inside

Rita Kumar
Jun 05, 2022
07:00 A.M.

A Colton woman brought home a set of second-hand sofas she found on Craigslist from a grieving family that gave it away for free. She thought she was being tricked but froze after making a startling discovery.

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Finding affordable online deals and pricier items for a steal price can be an overwhelming experience for many shopaholic buyers. Adding the cherry to the cake, when you find something given away for free, who wouldn't blindly take it?

One Colton mom scoured online ads to buy furniture for a terrific deal. As she clicked on the free items listed on Craigslist, a couch set caught her attention. However, little did she know that she was about to bring home more than just an old set of time-worn furniture.

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

A SUSPICIOUS FREE ONLINE DEAL

California-based Vicky Umodu had just moved into her new house that was near-empty. So, she decided to do some online shopping and turned to Craigslist to find affordable furniture deals.

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As she combed through the time-worn fabric, Umodu felt something strange concealed in one of the sofa cushions.

Umodu scrolled down and clicked the listing for free items. The first listing she saw was from a family giving away a sofa set for free. But Umodu's gut feeling told her that it could be some trick, and she called the seller to verify.

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

NO GIMMICK HERE

Later, she found out that it was no trick. The family was genuinely giving away the furniture for free because they wanted to liquidate everything in their estate after the recent loss of a loved one.

The offer seemed inviting, and Umodu thought that the furniture set would make a gorgeous addition to her house. She recounted:

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"I just moved in, and I don't have anything in my house. I was so excited, so we picked it up and brought it in."

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

HIDDEN OBJECT

Shortly after, the couch set was moved into Umodu's house, and she thought that was the end. She then decided to check the sofas. It was nothing specific. Just a random check people do after buying something new or used.

As she combed through the time-worn fabric, Umodu felt something strange concealed in one of the sofa cushions. Initially, she thought it was a heating pad but brushed off her assumption because there was no electrical cord in sight.

Umodu was baffled by what could be hidden in the second-hand item. Suspicious and confused, she unzipped the cushion and peeped inside, only to get the shock of her life.

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Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

THE STARTLING DISCOVERY

Thousands of dollars in cash stashed in several envelopes froze Umodu. She couldn't believe her eyes and screamed in shock, gaping at the $36,000 hidden in the old cushion. She recalled:

"I was just telling my son, come, come, come! I was screaming. This is money! I need to call the guy."

While the money could have certainly tempted anyone to keep it, Umodu decided not to. Instead, she immediately contacted the family that sold the furniture to her and informed them about the finding. But what happened next was something Umodu had only dared to dream of.

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

Vicky Umodu | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

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HONESTY GETS REWARDED

"God has been kind to me and my children. They're all alive and well. I have three beautiful grandchildren, so what can I ever ask from God?" Umodu said. But her honesty didn't go unnoticed.

Eventually, the family was surprised by her truthfulness. They also told her about finding more hidden money throughout the other parts of their house, but just a few hundred dollars and not as much as what Umodu found.

The family was also clueless about why their deceased relative hid so much money inside the old couch. However, they decided to reciprocate Umodu's sincerity by rewarding her.

Envelopes of cash that Vicky Umodu found. | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

Envelopes of cash that Vicky Umodu found. | YouTube / 6abc Philadelphia

A SIMILAR HIDDEN JACKPOT IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

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As a token of gratitude, the family decided to pay for a new refrigerator for Umodu and rewarded her with $2,200 in cash.

"I was not expecting a dime from him...I was not," an emotional Umodu revealed. Recalling such acts of honesty in history, it wasn't the first time a buyer of a second-hand item discovered a jackpot hidden in it and returned it to the rightful owner.

For instance, in 2014, three New York roommates bought an old used couch for just $20 but were surprised to find stacks of envelopes. The bubble-wrapped bills totaled a whopping $40,800 in cash, and it was a tempting wad of money. Did they keep it then?

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RETURNING A LONG-LOST FORTUNE

"We just pulled out envelopes and envelopes," recalled Cally Guasti, who shared an apartment with her two friends in New Paltz. "My mouth was literally hanging open... it was an unfathomable amount," she added.

A little later, she found a deposit slip and contacted the person mentioned on it. Although Guasti and her friends had initially decided to keep the money, they changed their minds.

The friends returned the cash to its owner, a 91-year-old widow desperately in need of this money she'd hidden several years ago in the couch donated to the Salvation Army. "At the end of the day, it wasn't ours...I think if any of us had used it, it would have felt really wrong," Guasti stated.

What would you do if you found a jackpot of hidden wealth in a time-worn second-hand piece of furniture you bought? Would you return it to its owner or keep it without breathing a word of it to anyone?

Click here to read about how a man found $159,000 hidden in an old used cupboard he bought from an elderly widow's home.

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