Many of us have stories about old couches — particularly ones we had in college, or shortly after. But not many stories are like the one three roommates in New Paltz, N.Y., can now tell.

Reese Werkhoven, Cally Guasti and Lara Russo were looking for a new couch for their tiny New York apartment. Unfortunately, most of the couches they found were too big for their living room.

Finally, they found a couch just the right size at the Salvation Army. They picked it up, paying only $20 for the couch.

The ugly and kind of uncomfortable couch came and for a couple of months it just sat there in the tiny apartment, until the roommates felt something strange in the cushions and decided to find out why it was so lumpy.

They looked under the arm of the sofa and found an envelope containing $700!

They kept finding more envelopes in the couch, pulling money out of it like an upholstered ATM. Between them all, they held $40,000 in cash!

The discovery was like a dream for the three friends, all of whom are either in college or recent graduates.

As they counted the money, they talked about what they might do with it; Werkhoven says he wanted to buy his mom a new car. But then they spotted a name among the envelopes, and realized they were faced with an ethical puzzle.

As they tried to figure out what to do with the money, they noticed a woman’s name on one of the envelopes. A phone number led them to the family that had donated the couch — and to answers about why it was full of money.

When they called the number, the woman on the other end told them the money was her and her husband’s savings. They had kept the money in the couch for 30 years, but her husband had passed away.

For years, she slept on the couch. But recent back problems led her daughter and son-in-law to replace it with a bed, meaning that the couch had to go.So she had taken the couch to the Salvation Army, unaware that there were thousands of dollars hidden inside!

The trio said they don’t regret doing the right thing. In fact, they hope to have dinner with the family they returned the money to.

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

Watch the full story in the video below:

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