These rags had riches.
Jackson Smith and Shelly Levitte were digging through a box of old clothes that a wealthy benefactor donated to their famous Manhattan high school when they spied a curious envelope peeking out of the pocket of an old coat.
It held a wad of bills — $20s, $50s, $100s — $620 in all.
The 16-year-old juniors at Fiorello LaGuardia HS, the esteemed “Fame” school, froze.
“We were both kind of freaked out,” Levitte told The Post. “We’re, like, teenagers, so we didn’t really know what to do.”
Added Smith: “We thought maybe someone higher up was supposed to find it — like a secret donation or a big surprise. But then we figured, they would have sent a check.”
But any temptation to keep the hidden treasure they found — which would come in handy over the holidays — was quashed.
The boys decided to “do the right thing,” Smith said. They handed the envelope over to drama teacher Sandy Faison.
“She was so ecstatic. It was a pretty awesome feeling,” Smith recalled.
“A lot of kids told me I was stupid, I should have just kept it,” he added, but others said, “Damn, that was a nice decision.”
Drama major Smith had summoned his buddy Levitte, a technical theater major, to help him comb through boxes of men’s suits to find costumes for the school’s production of the musical “42nd Street.”
The loads of clothing — along with a Yamaha piano, sofa, chairs, a grandfather wall clock and various knickknacks — were gifted to LaGuardia by the family of Eugene M. Lang, a Big Apple business titan and philanthropist who died in April at age 98.
The bank envelope, unmarked except for a some faded numbers penciled on it, poked out of a brown leather trench coat.
“That coat was the only one that was weird,” Levitte said. “It was incredibly ugly.”
Lang’s daughter, Jane, told The Post in an e-mail that it was not her dad’s main coat.
“I have no idea why the money was in this pocket!” she exclaimed.
Jane hailed the teens who turned in the cash.
“I am impressed and grateful that the students were both thorough — and thoroughly honest!” she said.
As a reward, Lauren McGrail — executive director of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation and the parent of a LaGuardia student — sent each boy a $25 Amazon gift card.
Eugene Lang would have applauded. Back in 1981, Lang visited his alma mater, East Harlem’s PS 121, and pledged to send all graduating sixth-graders to college. In 1986, he launched the “I Have a Dream” Foundation to support education for low-income children.
In 2011, The Post awarded Lang a Lifetime Achievement medal for helping thousands of youngsters.
His words at receiving the honor ring true for the cash-returning teens: “I don’t consider myself heroic, because it’s fulfilling to do what you think is a good thing,” he said.