PayPal mistakenly credits US man with quadrillions of dollars

17 Jul 2013

Image via tommistock/Shutterstock

When Chris Reynolds opened his monthly PayPal statement last Friday, he got quite a shock to see the online payments service had mistakenly credited his account with $92,233,720,368,547,800.

At first, Reynolds thought he was somehow being charged the phenomenal sum, but quickly realised it was to his credit.

Logging into his account online, however, he noted that his balance was actually zero. This drastic drop in finances seemed more reasonable to Reynolds, who has used PayPal for about 10 years to buy and sell on eBay, but usually spends no more than US$100 per month, according to Philly.com.

Had the money been for real, the Pennsylvania resident claims he would have paid off the US national debt and then put in an offer on the Phillies baseball team, if the price was reasonable. However, AOL Money UK reports that this could have landed Reynolds in a spot of trouble, as money that has been credited to you in error is not legally yours – and he would have had a hard time claiming ignorance of his US$92 quadrillion bonus.

The surprise inspired Reynolds’ philanthropic side, though, and he donated US$30 to the Democrats of Delaware County Council after reading the email.

PayPal is reportedly looking into how the error occurred.

Money image by tommistock via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com