Last weekend, the Schantz family was on a drive in Caroline County, Virgina when the car in front of them swerved to avoid a bag in the middle of the road. The Schantzes stopped to pick up the bag and noticed another in a nearby ditch. Assuming the bags were garbage, they tossed them in the back of their truck to throw away later. They eventually discovered that the bags contained nearly $1 million in cash. From CNN:
Within the two larger bags were smaller ones, each containing some information on where the money should have been deposited.
"Inside of the bag, there were plastic baggies and they were addressed with something that said 'cash vault,'" Emily Schantz told CNN affiliate WTVR.
The Sheriff's department conducted its own investigation before turning it over the United States Postal Service, which is now looking into the matter [...]
"It's really a credit to just the character and fiber of the family," [Caroline County Sheriff's Department Maj. Scott] Moser said. "I'm sure it'd be difficult to make that decision. It's almost $1 million in cash. But they did the right thing."
image: Caroline County Sheriff's Department
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You might think that when someone finds a wallet on the street, they're less likely to return it if there's cash inside. But you'd be wrong. According to a new three-year study across multiple countries, people are more inclined to return wallets stuffed with money. The more cash, the more likely they'll turn it over to the rightful owner. From the New York Times:
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“The evidence suggests that people tend to care about the welfare of others and they have an aversion to seeing themselves as a thief,” said Alain Cohn, a study author and assistant professor of information at the University of Michigan. People given wallets with more money have more to gain from dishonesty, but that also increases “the psychological cost of the dishonest act...."
Christian Zünd, a doctoral student and co-author, said a survey they conducted found that “without money, not reporting a wallet doesn’t feel like stealing. With money, however, it suddenly feels like stealing and it feels even more like stealing when the money in the wallet increases...."
The researchers surveyed people to see if they expected bigger rewards for returning more money; they didn’t.