Man buys used closet from elderly widow’s house and finds $159,000 in it

After Thomas Heller brought home a used cabinet from an online auction site, he remodeled his kitchen with it. A few days later, he discovered two secret boxes hidden in the back of the closet and froze when he saw the contents.

When was the last time you were tempted by an online second hand deal? If you’ve bought something like a piece of furniture, have you found a life-changing jackpot in it? Well, not everyone can be as lucky as 50-year-old Thomas Heller from Bitterfeld.

Thomas was doing social work when he saw an ordinary kitchen cabinet for sale on eBay at an affordable price. He decided to buy it and made the decision without thinking twice. But little did he know that behind this mediocre distressed oak veneer wardrobe was a huge stroke of luck that could change his life overnight.

Thomas Heller | Source: Facebook/Image


The cabinet in question came from the estate of an elderly couple in Halle, East Germany. As soon as Thomas saw the item for sale on an auction site, he decided to buy it blind. There were no ulterior motives or concerns as he simply wanted to own it and add something valuable to his kitchen.

Thomas managed to negotiate the transaction from $316 to around $253 and purchased the cabinet on April 14, 2022. It can be said that he was very happy with his purchase. He had saved almost $50 and managed to bring home a new addition from a valuable past.

However, a few days after the purchase, he noticed something strange. Thomas couldn’t believe his eyes when he spotted two boxes hidden in the back of the closet. Curious, he examined them to see what they contained.

Thomas Heller | Source: Facebook/Image


He looks into the boxes and is amazed to find that they are filled with cash. It wasn’t just a handful of cash that could be counted in a matter of seconds. It was a substantial sum hidden in two packages!

The case then went to the district court, where an investigation was conducted to find the closet’s original owner. During this investigation, more amazing details came to light.

Thomas couldn’t believe he had just raised so much money. He was speechless and suspected that the tickets might have been left there a long time ago and forgotten.


For Thomas it is an extraordinary experience. The cupboard had been in his kitchen for several days and he had no idea it was hiding such a fortune. He revealed:

“One of them was open and a lot of 100 euro bills were staring at me.”

Undoubtedly, most would have colorful dreams about what to do with such a surprise jackpot. But Thomas thought differently, and he knew that this money was of no use to him.


Instead of pocketing the money and not saying anything about what he found, he immediately went to the police and informed them of what he had found. Thomas added:

“They opened the second locked cabinet before me. Inside the envelopes were larger bills. Two hundred, five hundred.”

Officials were stunned when they found the money. Also, Thomas’ honesty left her speechless. The case then went to the district court, where an investigation was conducted to find the closet’s original owner. During this process, other amazing details emerged.

Thomas Heller | Source: Facebook/Image


According to a police spokesman, the cabinet was auctioned off during the liquidation of an estate belonging to an elderly couple. If that fact was known, further investigation revealed that the cash Thomas found actually belonged to a 91-year-old woman who was being cared for in a nursing home.

After the death of her husband, she left everything behind and her grandson took care of the estate. He was the one who sold the closets to Thomas. The speaker explained:

“The two boxes were well hidden in hard-to-see areas of the closet.”

Thomas Heller | Source: Facebook/Image


Eventually, Thomas’s story caught media attention. He became the talk of the town because of his honesty. On the other hand, the elderly couple’s grandson clarified that he had no idea what money was hidden in his late grandparents’ closet.

Under German law, keeping found money worth $10 or more is a criminal offense. According to the report, offenders who violate this rule face up to three years in prison.

Thomas eventually became a man of honour. As a thank you for his loyalty, the Good Samaritan received a 3% finder’s reward worth US$4,700. However, it is unclear how Thomas intended to spend this money!

Thomas Heller | Source: Facebook/Image

What would you do with the hidden jackpot if you were Thomas? Would you keep the money or return it to the rightful owner?

Also discover the story of a poor girl who is robbed of her home without knowing itit contained a hidden basement.

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