Homeless Man was Actually Rich and Didn’t Even Know It

This may be one of the rare moments in America where a person with money doesn’t learn they’re going to be very poor.

Homeless Man was Actually Rich and Didn't Even Know It

In Salt Lake City, Utah, a poor person, while sitting on a bench most likely pondering how he has nothing in life, learned that soon he’s going to be very rich—at least by his standards.

Max Melitzer, a 60 year-old homeless man, was tracked down by a private investigator and was told that his recently deceased brother had left him an undisclosed sum of money in his will.

Before the life-changing news, Melitzer had been inconspicuously pushing around a shopping cart filled with his personal belongings. Melitzer’s family reports they had a mail exchange with him in September in which they gave him a number in which to reach them, but he never called.

When they discovered his brother had left him money in his will they had to hire the private investigator, David Lundberg, to find him. It took two months, a few interviews and 60 or 70 phone call tips to finally find “the mellow guy in his 60s.”

He’s “very sweet and more articulate than I thought for a man in his position,” said Lundberg.

Did Melitzer’s brother try tracking him down before his death? Did anyone in the family try to get him a job? One always has to wonder what the cause of homelessness is—is it a disability, an addiction, a series of bad luck?

Whatever is the cause of Melitzer’s homelessness it makes me wonder how he’ll manage a newly found lump of money. Might it be his fish to eat for a day? What about tomorrow when the fish is gone? Will he be able to hunt for more?

Melitzer is refusing to speak to the press right now and seems to be dodging any form of attention so it’s hard to guess how he feels about it or to predict what is going to come of him.

His money could get him a home but will it get him a job? Melitzer’s story would be a dream come true for many Americans (though the terms of the acquisition could have been a little more cheery). With all the opportunities open to him now, Melitzer may not be the man with the golden voice, but he’s a man with golden choices.