Man Finds His Wife’s Lost Treasure Years Later: ‘I Never Thought I’d Get That Dollar Back’

May 10, 2019 Updated: May 10, 2019

A man whose wife died found something that belonged to his wife decades ago, and it left him awe.

Peter Bilello met his wife about 50 years ago when he went to visit his mother in Italy.

“My mother, she knew this girl,” Bilello, 86, told ABC News this week. “And my mother says, ‘Why don’t you get married.’ … She don’t know me, I don’t know her.”

Bilello and Grace, the girl, eventually got married and in 1964, they moved to Connecticut.

(Courtesy of Peter Bilello)

“She was a very good wife, very good cook, very good mother,” he added to ABC News. “Wherever my wife would go, I go.”

“Me and my wife were together all the time,” he said, adding that she was diagnosed with cancer. “She goes to chemo, I sit down next to her. And coming home, she lay down on the couch, she’s very sick after the chemo and [I] do all the work in the house.”

In 2009, Bilello came up with an idea for fun: He and his wife would each sign a dollar bill.

“I told my wife, ‘I’m going to sign one on the front: Peter B. I want you to sign one, too, for Grace B.,'” he explained. “I put those 2 dollars in my wallet.”

But then, a few years later, those bills disappeared.

“By mistake I went shopping,” he said. “I don’t know where I used the 2 dollars. I came home and told my wife… ‘Grace, I made a big mistake today. … I’m never going to see [the dollars again].'”

In 2014, the two celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. However, a few months later, Grace passed away.

“I was close with my wife,” Bilello said. “Anything she said, I would take care. Doctors, hospitals. I was with my wife all the time. And it made a lot of difference… for sick people to have support of the family.”

Later, he took his daughter, Ashley, to a Subway for lunch. He gave her a $10 bill. But when Ashley came back, she handed him three $1 bills back. The second dollar had “Grace B” on it.

“I said, ‘Oh my god, Ashley, look.’ We started to cry,” Bilello said, according to the Mirror.

“We were so happy to get the dollar back. I never thought I’d get that dollar back.”

Ashley, 14, told ABC: “I didn’t see it at first because I was just giving him back the change. Then when he showed me, at first you didn’t believe it, but you still wanted to. But then when he got home, you can look at the signature to see how they matched up.”

Bilello said, “I told my granddaughter, we’re going to go straight to the cemetery, and tell nonna [grandmother in Italian], my wife, that we got the dollar back. I showed the dollar to my wife and said, ‘Grace, look, I got your dollar back.”

He said it was a miracle.

“It’s a miracle to get it back after 5 years,” the widower explained. “Who knows how many million people got that dollar in their hands.”

And he said that his wife made it happen. “It happened to be … the right time and right place,” Bilello said. “Nothing like this could happen. It’s got to be a miracle.”

The dollar is now in a safe place. “Nobody’s gonna get that dollar anymore,” Bilello said. “No way.”

Regarding the one he signed, he’s not sure.