"Watch Xavier," he said. "No question."
In Southern California, where mammoth freeways and gridlock are a way of life, 19-year-old Stephen Schreiber worried about causing traffic.
"I don't want to get hit by some cars and I don't want to cause traffic," he said while working at a coffee shop in Tustin.
He did see one possibility: "What kind of car are we driving? A convertible? Because then maybe my hand or my butterfly net would just stick up and grab some as I drive on by, but otherwise I probably wouldn't stop," he said.
Anthony Janni, 36, a bartender in Hagerstown, said he understands why people would stop for "money that seems to just fall into their hands," but he probably wouldn't have done so.
"The highway's not necessarily the place to do something like that," Janni said. "It's not something worth causing an accident over."
Brian Gates, 32, of Cincinnati said he would get out to pick up the cash, with a few conditions. If he had kids and they were in the car, he wouldn't do it. He also wouldn't risk his safety.
"I'm not going to take a chance of endangering my life or others for money," he said.
If he was alone? "Oh yeah! If there is money out there. We can all use money."
The economy lurked in the decision-making for Gates and others.
Gates believes it's much harder economically now for the middle class than in his parents' day because "everything costs more."
"I bought a little economy car to help with gas, when gas was two dollars, and now it's doubled. I never thought I would have to pay four dollars for gas."
Jeanetta Campbell, 40, is a part-time mail clerk for the U.S. Postal Service in Cincinnati. She said she certainly wouldn't leave her kids in a car to chase money and she probably wouldn't do it if she was alone.
The denomination of the bills might make a difference.
"If it was hundred-dollar bills, it would be worth it," she said, laughing. "But if was just (single) dollars, no."
She's a single mother with three sons and a grandson. Her youngest son, 17, is still at home. She finds it "harder all the time to make ends meet."
Maybe the economy makes people more likely to go chase cash on a highway, she speculated, recalling her own single mother: "My mother still had to struggle, but I think the economy was better when we were growing up than it is now."
Associated Press Writers David Klepper in Providence, R.I., Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati, Michael Tarm in Chicago and Gillian Flaccus in Tustin, Calif., contributed to this report.
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