STOCKHOLM — A Norwegian real estate broker is being praised after he found almost $40,000 hidden underneath the fireplace of his new apartment and donated all of it to a charity.
Vemund Thorkildsen told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he made the discovery as he showed his newly purchased Oslo apartment to a friend two weeks ago.
While trying to figure out whether the fireplace could be moved to another room, they lifted a stone panel. Beneath it they found an envelope with almost 350,000 kroner ($38,000) in Norwegian bank notes.
“At first we started to celebrate like if we had won the lottery,” said Thorkildsen, 27. “But then I thought this not my money.”
He had bought the apartment from Kreftforeningen, a Norwegian cancer foundation which had received it as part of an estate.
So Thorkildsen decided the foundation should have the money.
“It would have been nice to go on a vacation,” he said, laughing. “But that money wasn’t mine and it felt nice to give it to something good like the cancer foundation.”
Kreftforeningen confirmed that Thorkildsen had delivered the money.
After the story was reported by Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet on Monday, he was flooded with phone calls, text messages and comments on social media from friends and strangers complimenting him for his honesty.
“A lot of people say that they would have done the same thing and that’s good to hear,” Thorkildsen said. “That gives you faith in humanity.”