Payson Man Finds $1,700 On Busy Roadway


Imagine you're driving down the street and you see cars running over something. It looks like a black bag, but you don't know for sure. Something makes you stop your car and take a look. Then, you discover it's a bag full of money.

In fact, there's $1,700 inside.


Larry Willingham

That's what happened to Larry Willingham as he drove along North Easy Street Tuesday morning.

"I saw several cars just running over the bag. I pulled over and looked inside and saw nothing but $100 bills," Willingham said. "I thought, somebody is hurting right now."

Willingham is a modest person. It took some arm-twisting to get him to be interviewed for this story. He thinks he was just doing the right thing. He described what happened. "I drove the money over to the police department and I asked who's in charge. The person told me the chief is in charge and I handed him the bag of money," said Willingham.

Did it ever cross his mind to keep the cash? He insists no. "My integrity is better than that," he said.


Salvador Anaya

"The community will judge you not on what you say, but on what you do. They'll judge you on how you walk your talk," he said.

Needless to say, the man who lost the money thinks Willingham is a good man.

Salvador Anaya, the owner of La Sierra Mexican Restaurant, said, "I am very grateful that he's a very honest person. I wish more people were like him."

Anaya said he was at home in his driveway when he remembered to take out his garbage can for pickup. So, he set the bag filled with his restaurant bank deposits on the top of this car. During the process, he forgot the bag on top, got in his car and drove off. The bag ended up in the street a few blocks away.

He said he was very concerned about his lost money. But luckily, about 45 minutes after he lost it, police called him to say someone had turned in his cash.

"Mr. Willingham is a good example for other citizens," said Anaya.

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