A well-worn couch may be the best budget purchase in Australia after it was accidentally donated to an op shop with a man’s life savings stuffed inside.
The unassuming couch is a grey and has a brown section that was removed from a larger sectional sofa.
No longer loved by its previous owner George*, it was donated to an op shop in southeast Queensland earlier this year.
Weeks later, though, George realised he had accidentally left $30,000 stuffed inside the couch.
The humble section was part of a set of five. When George was preparing to undergo renovations and downsize, he decided to give away three of the sections.
He knew he had up to $30,000 stuffed inside one of the chairs, but believed it was one of those he was keeping.
Amid the stress of the “mammoth exercise” of packing and moving, it wasn’t for several weeks that George realised his mistake.
“I didn’t even think about it for a few weeks. It wasn’t on my radar,” George told Channel 7.
So far, George hasn’t been able to get the couch back. He called the op shop, which said it was sold within “a couple of days” of being donated.
Staff checked delivery records, which showed the furniture was picked up but could not trace who bought it.
“I think the bit that really hurts is that I’ve done this to myself, and I can’t believe how bloody stupid I was, honestly,” George said.
“I really did have to stop and say: ‘You’re human, you made a mistake, if you don’t repeat it you’ve learned a valuable lesson — and an expensive one’.
“I’ll move on. It just hurts.”
George has shared posts online, offering a reward in the hopes he could get some of the money back.
But if that doesn’t happen, he hopes he may have inadvertently given the lucky buyer a better life.
“If I get a portion back, I’ll be happy. But I think it’s gone,” he said.
“There are a lot of people in dire need. Maybe it’ll transform someone’s life.”
*Name changed for privacy reasons.