Everyday Heroes

Everyday Hero: Old Lady Finds $62,000, Donates it to Help Children

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What would you do if you found more than $62,000 that belonged to you, and nobody else? I’d like to think I’d do something nice with it, or at least put it in my kid’s college fund, but statistically speaking, I’d probably spend it all on snacks, sewing supplies, and makeup. I’m not nearly as good a person as the woman this actually happened to, who has decided to anonymously donate all the money to help young people.

According to The Independent, this all started in December when artist Graham Short decided to seed the money supply of Great Britain with the artistic equivalent of four golden tickets. The artist–who specializes in impossibly tiny art–engraved a tiny, five-millimeter portrait of Jane Austen on four five-pound bills, then spent them in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, and waited for people to realize what they had.

The bills are estimated to be worth 50,000 pounds, or just over $62,000, and two of them were found relatively quickly. The Wales bill was found in a cafe shortly after Short spent it, and the Scotland bill was actually sent to someone in a Christmas card. But now an old lady in Northern Ireland has found the Northern Ireland bill, and she decided that at her age she didn’t need it, so she called Short and told him she didn’t want the publicity and that at her age she didn’t really have a good use for that sort of windfall.

“An old lady found it and she said ‘I don’t want my picture in the papers’ and she said ‘if it sells for a lot of money it will be better if young children could benefit from it,’” Short said to the BBC.

Then she mailed it back to Short’s gallery with a note that said: “It was lovely to speak to you today. £5 note enclosed, I don’t need it at my time of life. Please use it to help young people.”

That’s pretty amazingly selfless, and one hopes it will help a lot of kids.

There’s one more bill left in circulation. The £5 note with the serial number AM 32 885554 was put into circulation in England, and at this point it could be anywhere.