A former methamphetamine addict from Blenheim, New Zealand, found the equivalent of $2,200 in cash outside of a cafe last week. Instead of taking the money, the man, who did not want to be identified, immediately took it to the police station.
"I remember looking inside the bag and thinking 'wow that's a lot of cash,' but I knew I needed to do the right thing," he told Marlborough Express.
While he was at the police station, he happened to cross paths with a woman who had just reported her bag of cash had been misplaced between work an the bank. "She was real happy. She couldn't believe I had handed it in," he said.
The man acknowledged it wasn’t an easy decision. "It was hard, I wanted to keep it but I am in recovery and they teach you to be honest," he said.
The man had been addicted to methamphetamine for 24 years, but he has been clean for 11 months, News.com.au reported. He credited his sobriety for allowing him to make the decision to turn the money in. He admitted he probably would have kept the cash while he was using drugs.
"But I got sick of living that way, I had had enough of being high.”
Alison Leoni, the man’s friend, said she was proud of her friend for turning in the money, although he’s living off of government benefits and struggling to make ends meet. "I am so proud of him. He is a really thoughtful man," Leoni said.
She added: "It must have taken a lot to hand it over. It goes to show he has obviously turned his life around."
The woman who apparently owned the money gave him a $37 reward, which he’ll use for his dog’s registration.