PayPal Makes Man a Quadrillionaire—by Accident

But Chris Reynolds' good fortune doesn't last long

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 18, 2013 8:15 AM CDT | Updated Jul 21, 2013 6:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's not too often you see the word "quadrillionaire" in a headline. Actually, probably never, considering Chris Reynolds of Media, Penn., was the first man to ever be one—albeit very, very briefly. Reynolds opened his PayPal statement this month to find he had been credited $92,233,720,368,547,800. (As ABC News explains, his account read "-92,233,720,368,547,800.00," which represented not a negative balance but a credit.) But as the saying goes, his good fortune was fleeting: He logged on to find his balance had been reverted to zero.

PayPal addressed the mishap Wednesday, telling the BBC, "This was obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr. Reynolds understands this was the case." As a thank you for that understanding, it has offered to make a donation to the charity of Reynolds' choice. But what PayPal told Reynolds had to smart a bit: It apologized for the "inconvenience," he says. Turns out it's an inconvenience for the rest of us, too: Had the balance been a correct one, Reynolds tells the Philadelphia Daily News he would have used it to "pay the national debt down. Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price." (In other tales of riches denied, click to read about inventors who saw no windfall from their big idea.)

If only.
If only.   (Shutterstock)
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