Twelve-year-old Max Becker is celebrating today.
He was reunited with his life savings, money that his mom accidentally threw away with a recycled computer.
"I was so upset, because it's like all my money," Max said.
Max had just returned from Boy Scout camp and instantly noticed the central-processing unit of his old computer was gone. Appearing on TODAY Tuesday with Max, the boy's mother, Dorothy Ferrante, told Natalie Morales: "He started screaming that his CPU was missing. That's when we realized."
He had saved more than $300 in a coffee cup and in a wallet that also had a bunch of gift cards inside.
The coffee cup and wallet were hidden inside the old computer tower.
The idea was to keep it hidden from a certain sister who he says has sticky hands. "I was hiding it from my twin sister," Max said on TODAY, loud enough to ensure that his sibling, who was off-camera, would hear.
Max's mother started making phone calls. "A lot of women answered in different departments and said, 'Let me connect you with somebody,'" Ferrante told Morales. "Everybody was really willing to help."
Eventually she discovered the computer had been taken to the Sims recycling plant in Edison, N.J. Plant manager Jimmy Coe, appearing with Ferrante and Max on TODAY, said he "put a little team together, explained the situation. They were all sympathetic."
But finding the lost money was like looking for a needle in a haystack — "an organized needle in a haystack," Coe said. Still, he said, "We were very happy with Max's mom that she went the distance to recycle, so we wanted to go the distance to try to help out."
Finally, after four days of fruitless searching, one of Coe's employees "came running to me into my office, 'Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy...We found it! We found it! We found the kids money," said Coe.
"We contacted Max and his mom, we brought them down, we took them on a little tour of the facility," Coe told Morales. "We just wish more people would recycle like Max and his mom."
"I never thought we were going to get it back," Max told Morales. "I thought it was gone forever."