Minnesota teens find cash-filled wallet on lake and return it to Iowa farmer

This summer, Connor Halsa experienced a fishing tale of a lifetime while on a quest for walleye when he unexpectedly pulled up a wallet. Inside, they discovered $2,000 in cash, damp and soggy, but still chilly and symbolically resilient. Without hesitation, Connor and his father agreed that they needed to locate the owner.

On Lake of the Woods, the sixth-largest freshwater lake in the United States, with over 70 miles of water, Halsa and his father were preparing to “drift” for walleye. After casting their lines, Connor sensed something quite weighty on the other end.

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He quickly reeled it in, revealing a brown billfold.

“My cousin opened the wallet up, and he said some words you probably shouldn’t say, and he showed everyone, and we took the money out and let it dry out,” Connor told WDAY 7 news.

Inside, they discovered a presumably soaked business card with a contact number. They used this card to trace the owner, who happened to be 600 miles away in Iowa. Astonishingly, Jim Denny had lost the wallet during a fishing trip more than a year ago.

The resort where Denny had been staying had to extend him credit for his stay, causing him significant embarrassment. He suspected that the wallet had likely slipped out due to the turbulent waters.

According to WDAY 7, Denny made the journey from Iowa to Moorhead, Minnesota to be reunited with his long-lost wallet and the money it held. Young Halsa declined any offer of the cash found inside, stating that it was simply what any decent person would do.

“To meet people like that, who are that honest, I tried to get them to take the money, and they wouldn’t do it,” Denney told WDAY. “I would take Connor as a grandson any day, and I would fight for him any day.”

The two also took a moment to reflect on the astonishing odds of locating the billfold. Lake of the Woods spans 1,679.5 square miles, which is half the size of Yellowstone National Park, and reaches depths of up to 210 feet in certain areas. The water volume is measured in tens of cubic miles, and within all that vast expanse, Halsa’s fishing line managed to hook a wallet with just a few cubic centimeters. The phrase “one in a million” doesn’t even begin to describe the improbability of the situation.

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