Lifestyle & Belief

Honest janitor gets to keep $80,000 he found while cleaning a toilet


A 100 Australian dollar note and other foreign currencies.



What would you do if you found $100,000 while cleaning a bathroom on the job?

Would you quietly take it? Tell your supervisor? Does it depend if you like your supervisor?

Well this actually happened in Australia and listen up so you can fine tune your moral compass.

In 2011, an honest janitor by the name of Chamindu Amarsinghe was dutifully going about his job where he worked at Channel 9’s Docklands headquarters, in a suburb of Melbourne.

He was cleaning the groundfloor bathrooms when he found a sanitary bin full of money.

"There was too much to count — I thought someone was playing a prank on me,” Amarsinghe told Melbourne's Herald Sun.

“But when I touched the notes — all yellow and green — I realized it was real money.”

Real money, it turns out, grows in bathrooms.

Maybe he was in a state of shock, but Amarsinghe didn't pocket the money. Instead, he called his supervisor.

Police and a plumber rushed over and all said and done recovered more than $100,000 from the bathroom — $1,200 of it stashed in the pipes!

If it sounds sketchy, it probably is. But police were never able to discover what was going on or who the money belonged to. 

So, this month they gave it to Amarsinghe! Well, $80,000 of it. According to court order, the rest goes to the state. Still. Score.

“There’s no reason why such honesty should go unrewarded,” magistrate Michael Smith said.

Police agreed.

“All the guys in the office felt the same. He’s a struggling student who straight-up didn’t even think of pocketing it,” said Detective Senior Constable Daniel Thorne.

Amarsinghe, who is working himself through IT school, said he's going to donate some of the money to a Buddhist temple and some will go to helping disabled people.

“I’m really, really lucky. I’m not going to waste it,” he said.

Lucky he is. Also this month Amarsinghe heard he was granted permanent residency in Australia.