NEW PALTZ, NY (AP) - Three roommates are still shocked by what they found hidden in their couch.

Weeks later, these friends can still feel the excitement, an old and worn-down couch the root of it all.

Reese Werkhoven, Cally Guasti and Lara Russo were freaked out by what they found hidden inside two built-in pillows.

"[I was] just like freaking out, like an inch and a half of $100 bills," Reese Werkhoven said.

The friends eagerly took pictures as they counted the money, nearly $41,000.

"Our neighbors thought we won the lottery or something because we were just screaming," Guasti said.

The excitement quickly faded, though, when the trio found one envelope with a name on it.

They tracked the woman down, called her and returned the cash.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, told the friends she had been stashing the money in the couch for years.

Family members who didn't know mistakenly donated the couch.

"This was her life savings, and she actually said, 'Something really beautiful like this is my husband looking down on me and this was supposed to happen,'" Guasti said.

The friends say they have no regrets about doing the right thing - in fact, they hope to one day soon have dinner with the family to whom they returned the money.

The roommates ended up with some cash in the end. As a reward, the woman gave them $1,000.

Information from: WABC-TV,

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