What If You Found A Box Full of Cash?

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-By Caleb Jones

Imagine that you come home from work one day to find a large brown box on your doorstep. It’s not labeled, postmarked, or addressed in any way. It’s just a big brown box, taped shut.

You pick up the box and bring it inside. You crack it open.

It’s full of $100 bills. They don’t look counterfeit either; they look completely real.

You’re not sure, but eyeballing the cash, you estimate the box contains about three million dollars.

Here’s the question: What do you do?

You didn’t steal the money. It was right there, waiting for you.

It didn’t fall off the back of a truck belonging to someone else. It was just sitting in front of your doorstep.

At the same time, maybe it’s drug money, or money involved in some other crime. Maybe the money was dropped onto your doorstep by accident, and it really wasn’t meant for you.

Maybe. You just don’t know. You have no idea.

Here’s the question: What do you do?

As I see it, you’ve got a few options.

Option one is that you call the police and report the money. I’m honestly not sure what the police would do. No crime has been committed, but if you lived in a quasi-police state like the USA, likely the cops would assume the money is drug money and zip on out to your place to “investigate,” i.e. confiscate the money.

Even in that scenario, you have a few options. Do you pocket a wad of those bills before the cops arrive? Like, I don't know, $20,000? No one would know, right? Or would you hand it all over, too moral or too scared to touch even one of the bills?

Option two would be to just take the money and do whatever you want with it. Would you do that?

Option three would be to keep the money, not tell anyone about it, but not use it either. Instead, you would wait a few weeks (months?) and see if anyone came around trying to claim it. After a certain period of time, then you’d feel okay spending it, and would do so.

Option four would be to take a lot of the money, let’s say about half of it, and then report it to the cops. Even if they come take it, you now have a million dollars in your mattress. If anyone comes around looking for money, you guess you’ll just tell them, “Hey man, I gave it all to the cops. Go talk to them.”

Option five would be to take the money but immediately report it to the IRS (or whatever your tax collection agency is) as income and immediately deposit it into a bank or investment house, paying your taxes, creating a paper trail, and being very legal about the entire thing.

I’ve thought about this odd scenario often. I’m not sure what I would do; I feel like this is one of those “it would have to actually happen” things before I could tell you what I’d do. I think I would do some kind of variation of option three. However, after seeing movies like A Simple Plan, I admit I’d be pretty paranoid for a while.

Do you have any more creative options than the ones I’ve listed? Seriously, what would you do?

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