After a mistake led to him being credited with $92 quadrillion, an American named Chris Reynolds became the richest person in the world—but for only a couple minutes.
In 2013, he briefly landed the levels of wealth that even our wildest dreams could not imagine, after PayPal accidentally put quadrillions of U.S. dollars into his account.
When Reynolds logged on randomly one day, he discovered that the online payment service had inadvertently credited him with the sum of $92,233,720,368,547,800.
“It’s a curious thing,” Reynolds told CNN.
“I don’t know, maybe someone was having fun.”
Reynolds told the Philadelphia Daily News—the publication that first reported on the story—that the enormous sum made him feel “like a million bucks.”
“At first I thought that I owed quadrillions,” he added.
“It was quite a big surprise.”
Unfortunately for him, the alarmed employees at PayPal quickly realized what had happened, fixed the issue, and apologized to Reynolds for the “inconvenience.”
The company acknowledged the obvious mistake and made a general donation to a nonprofit of his choosing.
“This is obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr. Reynolds understood this was the case,” PayPal said in a statement.
Prior to this episode, Reynolds’ highest PayPal earnings were “a little over $1,000” from the sale of a pair of vintage BMW tires on eBay.
“We think it’s inspiring that he decided to use this occurrence to donate to a cause he believes in,” the company later added in another statement.
“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!”
So what would the prospective richest man in the world have done with $92,233,720,368,547,800?
When asked that question, Reynolds said he “probably” would’ve used it to “pay the national debt down.”
“Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price,” he added.