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Buyer returns cash found after online Sacramento purchase

Chris Clark, left, and Chris Wunderlich pose for a picture after Wunderlich returned $4,500 found in a bumper pool table purchased online from Clark.
Chris Clark, left, and Chris Wunderlich pose for a picture after Wunderlich returned $4,500 found in a bumper pool table purchased online from Clark. Courtesy of Chris Clark

Upon examining your Craigslist purchase you find a cool $4,500 stashed in a tin box. You:

A. Keep it and say nothing

B. Return the cash to the seller

“B” is what Napa resident Chris Wunderlich did Saturday after discovering the cash hidden within a bumper pool table that had been in a Sacramento family’s possession for more than 40 years.

Jojo Pedri Clark said she has many a fond memory playing the game with her father, John Pedri in the family game room.

“He loved that thing and we would spend hours and hours ... laughing and playing it while listening to ’50s tunes next to the ol’ Wurlitzer jukebox,” Clark writes in a Facebook post. “After my dad’s sudden death in ’98, the pool table just never had that same magical feeling.”

Clark said her mom didn’t want it and it was quickly becoming just something to put things on at her family’s Tahoe Park home. So they decided to find it a new home via Craigslist.

She and her husband, Chris Clark, listed the table a week ago for $225.

The ad, complete with a photo, yielded one response from Chris Wunderlich, a Napa real estate agent, who offered $200 for the table.

While helping to load the table, Chris Clark said he found some dusty papers in the base, but thought little of it.

But soon after Wunderlich got the table back to Napa, he called the Clarks with a vague message. Call him back, he said.

“I was like holy cow,” Chris Clark said upon learning of the hidden money.

Wunderlich said he was fishing around the base of the game, while waiting for help to move the top.

“There was what I thought was a darts container,” Wunderlich said. “I opened it up and that is when I found an incredible amount of money.”

The stack of bills included several $100 bills featuring the small-face Ben Franklin, which stopped bring printed in 1993.

As best Jojo Clark figures it, the cash was gambling winnings that her father hid from his wife.

Wunderlich said the money wasn’t there by accident and, knowing Jojo Clark’s long history with the game, he knew instantly he had to give it back.

As a ‘thank you’ offering, Chris Clark on Saturday delivered a set of darts and gifted Wunderlich a $500 finders fee.

“I truly felt my faith in humanity was restored,” Jojo Clark said of Wunderlich. “He’s a salt of the earth kinda guy.”

Ed Fletcher: 916-321-1269, @NewsFletch

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