Indiana 9-year-old who found $5,000 hidden in family's used car rewarded for returning cash

Posted at 8:26 AM, May 20, 2021

PLAINFIELD, Ind. — It's possible to be rewarded for doing what some would consider a regular chore.

That's what 9-year-old Landon Melvin was doing when he was clearing his father's car and found a wad of cash hidden in the floorboards.

"I was cleaning my dad's car when I looked under the floorboard and I found a package. I told my dad and he said, 'whatever,'" Landon said.

"I was like, 'he's nine. You found something, OK?' 'No, dad, I really did,'" Michael Mevlin said. "I walk over. I think it's paperwork of some sort."

The Melvins purchased a used Chevy Suburban in September. With five kids, life is busy. Family is first, and cleaning under the floorboards wasn't a priority until Landon's discovery.

"I look at him and run inside. I go upstairs. I start calling my wife, 'Hey, babe, you got to check this out!'" Melvin said. "And that's when we dump it on the bed and money falls over the bed."

Nine-year-old Landon Melvin found $5,000 in the floor mats of his family's new car.

The envelope was packed with checks and $5,000 in cash. The money belonged to a family in South Carolina. In 2019, they drove to Florida for a cruise and forgot where they placed the money.

Melvin said he never considered taking the money for himself and his family.

"It never crossed my mind. I immediately thought, 'Who does this belong to?'" Melvin said.

The owners of the cash would only accept the money if Landon received a $1,000 reward for his good deed.

What is a 9-year-old going to do with $1,000?

"I have no idea. It's upstairs in my mom's room. I'm thinking of all things I can buy," Landon said.

Nine-year-old Landon Melvin was allowed to keep $1,000 after he and his family returned money found under the floor mat of their new car.

So, lesson learned — always check the floor mats.

"We went back out and checked all the rest of the floor mats. What else is hidden in these vehicles?" Melvin said. "People were like, 'It didn't happen.' I have the pictures to prove it. It actually happened."

It did for a 9-year-old, who will never say no to cleaning the car.

This story was originally published by Rafael Sánchez on Scripps station WRTV in Indianapolis.