A Colorado man who found $10,000 before boarding a flight in Las Vegas says he returned the money to the owner in El Paso because he wanted to show his children it was "the right thing to do."
Mitch Gilbert said he found two unmarked Caesar's Palace envelopes at the airport, but didn't open the envelopes until he got home.
"There was $5,000 in each envelope. I just about fell over, I couldn't believe it," Gilbert said.
Gilbert says he just knew he had to return the money.
"I wanted to show my kids the right thing to do. It would have been a lot easier keeping it to be honest with you. But I felt like I had to get it back to the right person," Gilbert said.
He called the airport in Las Vegas, but they would not even take down his name.
"I just said, 'Well, I'll keep calling back and I'll give it 30 days,'" Gilbert said.
Gilbert kept calling the airport. More than two weeks later, the operator told him a man in El Paso, Texas reported losing two Caesar's Palace envelopes full of cash.
"She goes, 'Well, this is breaking the rules, but you're trying to do the right thing,'" Gilbert said.
Ignacio Marquez says he won the money gambling and dropped it as he was running to catch a flight.
Marquez says he knew the odds of someone actually returning the $10 grand were pretty slim.
"Relief is an understatement. Cash money is very difficult to get back. I'm very appreciative to Mitch and his family. You do not find people like this," Marquez said.
Gilbert says even though his real estate business has been slow, keeping the money was never an option.
"I would have loved to have $10,000. You think about all the bills you can pay. But it didn't belong to me," Gilbert said. "It felt so good to be able to get it back to the guy. I felt like I was floating on air. I felt like a million bucks."
Gilbert deposited the money in Marquez's bank account two days before Christmas.
KUSA-TV contributed to this report