Money

An Ohio couple accidentally donated a bag filled with $100,000 in cash to Goodwill

US 100 DOLLAR BILLS
Scott Eells/Bloomberg | Getty Images

Generosity is often on display at Goodwill Industries locations — but this time it was the employees who found themselves giving back.

Workers at a Zanesville, Ohio Goodwill were shocked to find a bag filled with $100,000 of what they originally believed to be play money amidst a box of donated housewares, reports USA Today.

"I just laughed and said, 'Look at all my money I found,'" employee Barb Claypool told the publication. "I thought it was play money. Then [my co-worker] Betsy came over and said we needed to take that to the office."

No one came hunting for the missing cash. Instead, Goodwill made multiple attempts to contact the donor, Lynette Leckrone, by phone, and finally called the local police. Leckrone was apparently unaware that the money was missing.

"We are moving closer to Wheeling, [West Virignia], and we have been saving to buy a house," Dan Leckrone, the donor's husband, told USA Today.

He said he had withdrawn the money — $97,004, precisely — from the bank and put it in the trunk of the car along with clothes and other household items for donation. He and his wife didn't realize it was missing until they returned home and noticed they'd received voicemails from Goodwill and the police.

Michelle Cogswell, Goodwill central manager for the region, said she's never experienced anything like this in her nearly two decades with the organization.

"We find the occasional $100 bill or $50 bill, but that's about the most that is found," Cogswell told the publication. "When I heard they found $100,000, I thought they meant $1,000."

The Leckrones aren't the only ones stashing their cash — albeit temporarily, in their case — outside the bank. In 2015, CNBC reported that almost a third of adults had at least partially ditched institutional housing for their savings.

While banks are still the go-to solution for most consumers, 29 percent say they're keeping at least some savings in cash bills and coins, according to a new survey of 1,820 adults from American Express. Of those holding cash savings, 53 percent are hiding it in a secret location.

Millennials are even more apt than other generations to go the mattress or freezer route, with 67 percent of those saving cash saying that they hide it outside a bank account.

Many of those surveyed said they anticipated some form of financial strife in the coming year and wanted to be prepared. Personal finance experts strongly advise against this strategy, for obvious reasons, but also because situations like the Leckrones' aren't as uncommon as you might imagine. As CNBC reported:

There are plenty of horror stories, such as the Israeli woman who in 2009 replaced her mother's old mattress, only to learn that it was where she'd hidden her life savings, an estimated $1 million. Or the man in Moline, Illinois, who accidentally donated a suit with $13,000 stashed in a pocket.

If you do insist on keeping your reserves beneath the sheets, it could be time to consider getting investing in "The Warren," the only mattress named for the Oracle of Omaha himself.

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