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Man Discovers 1930s Trove of Money in His Driveway

Rich Gilson and his wife, Suzanne, purchased a house in Wildwood, New Jersey, about four years ago, and they have been working on additions and renovations to the home during that time. Gilson, who works in home inspections and renovations, was able to start working on the driveway of the house in the area in front of the home’s garage.

Gilson said, “So I start digging. I’m hitting concrete. I'm hitting rock. I'm hitting glass. Then I found these two things, and they look like root balls. I throw them in the soil pile, both of them, thinking they’re just roots.”

As he continued his work outside on Sunday, he came across one of the cylindrical objects again. “I pick it up, and I'm thinking what is this? Why are these things following me, right? I look at the edge, and I think ‘I can see something there.' It looked like paper. So, I started tugging at the edge, and I knew immediately what it was. I thought ‘this is money.’”

The money was wrapped in brown paper. Gilson and his wife began pulling the cylinder apart, and it amounted to rolls of $10 and $20 bills, totaling $1,000. That money would have been worth a lot more at the time: $1,000 in 1934 is the equivalent of more than $22,000 today when accounting for inflation, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gilson said, “So I start to think, OK, either somebody robbed a bank because all these bills came from the same lot,” or he believes that someone may have taken their money out of a bank during the Great Depression in the U.S.

Gilson added that he’s still curious about the money’s story, where it came from and whether someone simply forgot about it. He also hopes that people who see his discovery don’t come looking for more of the money. Gilson said, “Please don’t come to my house with a shovel. I’m trying to finish the house, not make more work for myself.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

This story brings to life Christ's parable of the treasure buried in a field. Like the kingdom of heaven, sometimes the most precious things in the world are hidden from view for a while. God has surprising hidden treasure which only the diligent can find. The kingdom of heaven (Matt. 13:44), godly wisdom (Prov. 2:3-5), and the Word of God (Jer. 15:16) are waiting to be discovered by the earnest seeker.

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