NBC10.com - Tim Furlong
A dying man's final wish brings joy to Delaware residents as money literally falls from the sky. NBC10's Tim Furlong has the story.
Leonard Maull liked to hang out with friends at the Lewes Harbor Marina in Delaware. Now, a year after his death, he has many more friends and has become the talk of the town.
"He had some surprises up his sleeve," said Joe Morris, of Lewes, who knew Leonard and was at the marina when it started to rain money last Saturday.
$10,000, to be exact, was tossed from a helicopter as part of Maull's last wish he noted in his will before he died.
"It was kind of hovering over the parking lot, and my boss and I walked down the stairwell to see what was going on, and we see, like, stuff coming out of it," said Dana Smith, general manager at Irish Eyes.
Smith says at first she thought it was coupons falling from the sky.
"My boss said, 'Wouldn't that be crazy if it were money?' And one of the other managers took off," said Smith, who admits she kind of froze.
"I'm standing there, thinking it's coupons still, with my mouth wide open, like, 'This isn't happening,'" said Smith.
Morris says he was too busy working, but he describes watching people make a dash for cash.
"It was pretty wild," said Morris. "It scattered all across yard, into the marsh surrounding it, and some ended up in canal and across on the other side on the marsh next to the ball field."
A group of kids were definitely in the right place at the right time. They had just arrived back to the harbor from a pirate boat tour when they got their hands on some real-life "booty."
"From what I understand, there was a 5-year-old that got more than $500," said Smith. "They made out good."
The Irish Eyes manager, Kara Miele, who did take off running for cash, ended up collecting $170. Smith didn't collect anything, but maybe some regrets. "I have a lot of them," she said with a laugh.
As for the man at the center of it all, Leonard Maull, he was fairly well known around town. He owned Henlopen Bait & Tackle for 25 years before selling it in 2000. After that, he enjoyed hanging out at the marina with the local fishermen.
Maull was described as an opinionated man who always let people know where they stood with him. Now, after his death, it appears he was making his opinion known one more time, through this surprising gift.
"He had kind of a gruff exterior, so it's just not something you'd expect him to do, but I can see him doing this," said Morris.
Contact Lauren DiSanto at 610.668.5705, firstname.lastname@example.org