Woman finds nearly $100,000, gives it back

Woman finds nearly $100,000, gives it back (Image 1)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – What would you do if you found a purse with thousands of dollars inside?  Would you keep it or give it back?

It was never a question for one Murfreesboro woman.

Billy Watts, a grandmother of 12, said she tries to lead by example.

She found the purse with nearly $100,000 in it in a Cracker Barrel bathroom last week and gave it back.

“I thought, 'I've never seen so much in my life.  Just so much of it',” she told News 2. “If you don't do the right thing, you're going to be judged by it, and as old as I am, I have to account for everything.”

Watts said the money was in the purse, hanging on the hook of a restroom stall door.

“It was a tapestry, real pretty bag.  How anybody walked off and forgot it, I don't know,” she said.

Watts said she searched the bag for a name or address, but I couldn't find one.  That is when she spotted the money.

“I thought, ‘If I turn it in up here, the wrong person might get a hold of it, and it might not go to the rightful owner',” she explained, so she took it home.

She counted the money with her husband, which was $97,000 in all, and then called Cracker Barrel to leave her information.

“I said, ‘I won't tell you what I found in the bathroom, but give them my number if someone calls',” she recalled.

15 minutes later, Watts said a woman called her apartment.  She identified the bag and a picture inside.

Watts said she met her at the Cracker Barrel parking lot and said she was offered a reward, but didn't take it.

“She came up and hugged me.  She offered me $1,000, but told me she needed every penny she could so I thought, it's not my money.  If she needs it that badly, it knew she didn't really want to give it, so I didn't take it,” said Watts.

She said while she could've used the money, the thought of keeping it only crossed her mind for a moment.

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