Paypal Error Makes Man an Accidental Quadrillionaire

Pennsylvania resident Chris Reynolds isn't actually the world's richest person, but for a few hours last week it looked as if he might be

  • Share
  • Read Later
KAREN BLEIER / AFP / Getty Images

When Chris Reynolds got an email regarding his PayPal account last Friday, he was stunned to see a 17-digit balance. The mind-boggling amount — $92,233,720,368,547,800 — was about 14 digits longer than he was used to seeing there. “At first I thought that I owed quadrillions. It was quite a big surprise,” the Media, Pennsylvania resident told the Philadelphia Daily News.

(MORE: PayPal Ups Ante in Holiday Season Price-Matching Wars)

Reynolds has used the online payment service for the past 10 years to buy and sell items on eBay, such as vintage parts. He estimates that typically he averages no more than $100 in transactions a month.

A quadrillion dollars—which is actually a real number—is just about 1300 times more than the world’s GDP, which is approximately $70 trillion a year. That’s leagues above the net worth of Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, who reclaimed his spot as the world’s richest man this year from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

(MORE: Watch Out Visa and MasterCard: PayPal Is Coming to a Brick-and-Mortar Store Near You)

When Reynolds decided to double check and log into his account later that afternoon, though, he noticed that PayPal had already fixed the error and his actual account balance was $0. CNN reports that PayPal said in a statement, “This is obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr. Reynolds understood this was the case.”

And what would have Reynolds done with the money? “I’m a very responsible guy,” he told UPI. “I would pay the national debt down first. Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price.”

9 comments
chilly8
chilly8

If he could have kept the money, the federal income taxes along would have paid down the national debt, and then some.

zmiao137
zmiao137

So many merchant had their funds stolen lately that it is not worthy it to use their service.

zmiao137
zmiao137

Paypal is essentially running a ponzi scheme and trying get new idiot to use their service. eBay and Paypal duo is a one big ponzi scheme in the making.

GregHitch
GregHitch

I think Paypal made a much bigger error when they decided to move aggressively in June into the online adult market place and forgot to tell their shareholders. I can't imagine what the board of directors at Ebay was thinking.  Do anything to save the Q3?  Found the truth here... really pathetic and just plane immoral...paypalhassecrets.blogspot.com.  I hope their stock tanks. 

roknsteve
roknsteve

Who would have guessed the Roman Catholic Church had any use for money?

Pizzant
Pizzant

How can an error by "pay-pal" create more money
(That's $92 QUADRILLION) than any country knows to exist? How real is our all electronic global economy be if an "oopsy" can just make this money from error? Pay-Pal should be answering more questions by anyone whom debt is attributed to simple survival.

EricSchatz
EricSchatz

Looks like City of Detroit just opened a PayPal account.

tomwaring83
tomwaring83

Will Paypal also blame a "glitch" to explain their decision to start working with "adult content" online in June? 

They are being awfully quiet about it...