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NYC Couple's $100K 'Magnet Fishing' Find Requires 9-Month Wait. Here's Why

A couple from Queens, discovered a safe containing about $100,000 while magnet fishing in a local lake.

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They brought the waterlogged cash to the Treasury Department, where it will undergo a nine-month restoration process. Photo: Twitter
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James Kane and Barbie Agostini, a couple from Queens, stumbled upon a rare treasure while magnet fishing in a local lake: a safe packed with soggy bills totaling approximately $100,000. However, their joyous windfall comes with a twist—they can't access their newfound fortune until next year.

Last Friday, Kane and Agostini journeyed to the Treasury Department in Washington, DC, bearing their waterlogged riches. A specialized team of eleven experts is now tasked with carefully examining and restoring the cash over the next nine months. Once the meticulous process concludes, the couple will receive the entire sum anew, tax-free.

Kane, exclaiming "America the beautiful!" to The New York Times, expressed his astonishment at the unexpected turn of events. The Treasury Department, equipped to handle such peculiar situations, often deals with damaged or buried cash, making Kane and Agostini's find a somewhat routine anomaly.

The couple's discovery has sparked widespread interest since news of their extraordinary catch went viral. Kane lamented his initial disbelief, having left behind what he assumed were irreparably damaged bills in the park.

"We're overwhelmed by the sudden attention and a bit apprehensive," Kane wrote in an email to the Treasury Department. He emphasized the urgency of their situation, fearing that the money, already showing signs of brittleness, might further deteriorate if not handled promptly.

Upon their arrival at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, officials estimated the recovered sum to be between $50,000 and $70,000. The couple, who document their adventures on YouTube, had not anticipated such a windfall when they plunged their magnet into the Queens pond.

While they have encountered safes in their previous outings, most turned out to be empty. This time, however, they struck gold with two stacks of hundred-dollar bills submerged in mud. Despite alerting the NYPD to avoid legal complications, the police assured them of their right to keep the money—a rare stroke of luck in their "poor-people treasure-hunting history," as Kane described it.

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