An American man became an instant multi-quadrillionaire after online payment service PayPal made a mathematical error, before quickly reclaiming his hefty fortune.
In July 2013, 56-year-old Chris Reynolds logged into PayPal to check his June statement.
What he didn't expect was to find a staggering $92 quadrillion ($92,233,720,368,547,800), around £60 quadrillion, in his account, making him the richest man in the world.
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The man from Delaware County was, briefly, the only quadrillionaire in the world.
Various news outlets at the time noted Reynolds was a million times richer than Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim – a man whose net worth was an already eye-watering $67 billion.
Speaking to CNN, Reynolds looked back on the surreal moment.
"It’s a curious thing," the PR executive commented, “I don’t know, maybe someone was having fun.”
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Reynolds found the staggering sum particularly surprising, as the most money he had ever made on PayPal was "a little over 1,000" from some vintage BMW tyres sold on eBay.
Unfortunately for the new-found financier, PayPal swiftly realised their error, and corrected the issue, restoring his bank balance to a realistic sum.
PayPal released a statement apologising for the inconvenience, and offered to donate to a charity of Reynold's choice as a further concession.
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The statement read: “This is obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr. Reynolds understood this was the case.”
A later statement from PayPal said: "We think it's inspiring that he decided to use this occurrence to donate to a cause he believes in.
"And we hope to honor this spirit by donating to a cause of his choice – we've reached out to him to make this offer and to let him know we are grateful that he's a customer!"
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The Philadelphia Inquirer was the outlet that first reported on Reynolds' temporary riches.
Reynolds admitted to the publication that seeing his swollen bank balance made him feel ‘like a million bucks’ – only after he realised the quadrillion dollars was not an owed sum.
"It was quite a big surprise," recounts Reynolds.
When asked what he would do with the money had he been able to keep it, Reynolds answered he would "pay the national debt down", as well as buying baseball franchise "the Phillies", for the right price.
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