A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Can a penny found be a penny earned?

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The childhood game of finders keepers we all played doesn’t always work out when you’re an adult, does it?

Many of us often dream of what would happen if we found a bag of money on the side of the road and dream of all the possibilities — what we could do that would improve our everyday life. It isn’t hard to imagine what we would do if we suddenly came into a large amount of money. If I won the lottery or inherited money, I’d pay off some nagging bills I’ve acquired over the years while others may take a more exciting approach and travel abroad.

Regardless of what we may do with our newfound fortune, one thing is clear. The old rule yet still a good one — if it doesn’t belong to you, then don’t touch it. It’s that simple.

That is not the case for a couple in Pennsylvania who allegedly did not report that nearly $120,000 was deposited in their bank account by mistake. Instead, it’s been reported that the couple went on a shopping spree, buying all sorts of fun items such as four-wheelers, a car, camper and other expensive things. Sounds like a fun time, if shortlived.

It really doesn’t make sense to me why people in this day in age where technology is so far advanced would even have a rational thought that they’d be able to get away with anything that is not on the up and up. Come on, people, have some common sense.

As for the couple who’s in the hot seat about the $120,000, it will be very interesting to see how that plays out. Maybe they should have saved some of that money for an attorney, even though I would imagine even then they could not use it.

What I want to know is what would you do if you came across a bundle of money on the side of the road or found jars of money buried somewhere. Would you turn it in or keep it? Would you go on a shopping spree or simply put it in your safe and save it for a rainy day? Would you keep it and only spend small amounts at a time?

Exciting to think about, isn’t it? What about if you found just a dollar?

I’d bet many people would keep the money if it was a small amount. Simply finding a $1 bill or a $20 would certainly brighten a person’s day. But in all actuality, the right thing to do is turn it in to the proper authorities.

Do you do the same thing if you find coins? Technically, yes. You are supposed to turn in any found currency, but do we? No, most of us do not, especially coins. “Awesome, a quarter! That’s my next soft drink.”

A penny earned is a penny saved, I have always heard. I also always heard never to pick up a penny that isn’t heads-up for the bad luck it carries. Well, money is money, and if I found a penny, you best keep your heads up because I’m picking it up — especially if it’s in some random place where I’m clearly not able to determine quickly who it belongs to. Same for any coin, for that matter.

Finders keepers, you say? I say best of luck in your search for pennies. They add up!

Rodney O’Neal is a resident of southern Nash County.