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Missing $1 million? Try the landfill

By By Leada Gore, Editor
Several years ago, I bought Greg a metal detector. He’d mentioned wanting one in the past, but, more than that, it was sort of an inside joke in our family.
Greg and I had always laughed about our suspicions that his 92-year-old grandfather had employed the time-honored buried coffee can in the backyard method of saving money. And while given the state of today’s economy this isn’t necessarily a bad decision, it’s not that great of an idea if you can’t remember where you buried the cans.
That brings us to the story of an unnamed Israeli woman (we’ll call her Mrs. Jones) who lost $1 million recently.
That’s right – $1 million.
It seems Mrs. Jones bought a new mattress for her mother. She brought in the new one, then took the old one to the curb for the garbage men to pick up.
What she didn’t know is her mother had stashed her life savings – $1 million – in her old mattress. The realization led the Mrs. Jones to a frantic search of three local landfills, sifting through some 2,500 tons of garbage.
No mattress.
No money.
To date, neither the mattress or the money have been recovered. The landfills have hired security guards to keep the treasure hunters away, though I would be suspicious if one of the landfill owners or security guards suddenly decides to build a summer home in Bermuda.
There’s no word from Mrs. Smith’s mother on what she thinks about this incident, though I can only imagine her reaction. My guess is the words “dumb,” “what were you thinking?” and “hope you hadn’t already spent that inheritance,” were involved.
This story does provide us some valuable lessons:
1. Let someone know before you hide your money in a place that can be hauled out to the trash in a moment’s notice.
2. It’s just about impossible to find anything at a landfill once it arrived there. Just because it’s worth a lot of money doesn’t mean it will be any more visible than a bag of old orange juice containers.
3. If you do bury, squirrel away or hide your money in coffee cans, write it down somewhere. Even worse than a missing mattress is a long-forgotten buried Folgers can.
Which brings us back to the metal detector…

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