Reggie Damone just wanted to jot down a phone number when he picked up what he thought was litter on a sidewalk this week. But what he found was an envelope containing a $185,000 check.

Damone, who receives government-issued food stamps for low-income workers and works at a McDonald's fast food restaurant, said he did not think twice about trying to cash it. Instead, the 47-year-old took a bus Monday from his Jewett City home to a bank and returned the check to the niece of the landlord to whom the check was written.

She thanked Damone with a $50 bill.

Damone said that although he knew $185,000 could pay his rent and other bills for a long time, he was never tempted to try to cash it and splurge.

He says he remembered his mother's words: If you take something, you lose three times that amount — and if you do something good, something good comes back to you.