10 typos that cost more money than you can imagine

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10 Typos That Cost Millions of Dollars

Typos happen -- and fortunately, for the vast majority of us the worst problem a typo will cause is a confusing text message or an email that makes you look a little less intelligent. But sometimes a typo can cause a whole lot more trouble, including costing a head of a lot of money.

Check out 10 of the most expensive typos in history:

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10 typos that cost more money than you can imagine

10. Tropical Fruit-Pants

In 1872, one misplaced comma cost the U.S. Government $2 million. To put that in perspective, today that comma would be worth over $50 million. The tiny error was made in the US Tariff Act, instead of making tropical 'fruit-plants' exempt from tariffs, the act used the wording 'fruit, plants.' That rogue comma mean all tropical fruit and plants were free from charge. The government did eventually correct the typo, but until after two years of lost revenue.

(Baloncici via Getty Images)

9. Japanese Sock Exchange

The Japanese Mizuho Securities Co, a division of the second largest bank in Japan, lost millions in a typo related error in 2005. While trying to sell shares of a recruiting agency on the Japanese Stock Exchange, the bank accidentally listed 610,000 shares as costing 1 yen each, rather than each share costing 610,000 yen. No one seemed to notice the fact that 610,000 shares was actually 41 times the number available, either. In less than a day, the company lost a quarter of a billion dollars - equivalent to the entire profit it had made that year. The mistake was attributed to ‘fat-finger’ syndrome; a term in the stock market for a huge accidental blunder.

(Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

8. Airline Rickets

In 2006 Alitalia Airlines accidentally listed business-class flights from Toronto to Cyprus at $39, instead of $3,900. Two thousand quick-thinking travelers took advantage of the mistake, booking tickets as fast as they could. When the airline tried to cancel the tickets, they suffered a massive backlash from their customers. Worried about their reputation Alitalia decided to cut its losses and allow the budget ticket holders to fly; a move which improved public relations, but cost the company somewhere in the region of $7.2 million.

(GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

7. The Brutish Government

The British Government accidentally listed Taylor & Sons Ltd., rather than Taylor & Son Ltd. as a failing business approaching liquidation. This extra ‘S’ in the name of the report caused a confusion between the failing company and a respected engineering firm, which saw it’s clients back out of deals, its suppliers cancel contracts and creditors withdrawing their agreement. Two months after the typo report the 134-year-old family business was bankrupt, with 250 people losing their jobs. Seen as a direct consequence of the British Government’s mistake Taylor & Sons were awarded nearly $14 million in compensation in 2015.

(D Legakis/Alamy Live News)

6. Buying and Soiling

Between 1993 and 1994, stockbroker Juan Pablo Davila lost $206 million on the stock market because of a simple typo. The trader accidentally entered the shares he wanted to sell into the buy column on his computer and lost $30 million. After realizing his costly mistake, Davila went on a buying and selling spree, making 5,000 transactions with 23 brokers in less than 6 months - risking up to $1.8 billion but finally losing a total of $206 million. He eventually served 3 years in prison for his dubious financial prowess.

(Shutterstock)

5. Everyone’s A Weiner

In 2007, a car dealership thought it would be a great idea to drum up some customers by sending out lottery tickets to locals. The idea was to send out 50,000 tickets with just one winner of a $1,000. Unfortunately, the marketing company responsible for making the tickets made a huge mistake. They printed all 50,000 tickets as grand prize winners - essentially giving away $50 million. Rather than pay out the fortune, the dealership apologized and offered $5 Wal-Mart gift cards.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

4. Lockheed Martini

When Lockheed Martin agreed to produce a military transport aircraft for an unnamed air force, thought to be UK, Italy or Australia, they signed a very specific contract. As the deal would require several years of manufacturing, the agreement stated that the cost the planes would increase alongside inflation. Unfortunately the formula that worked out the cost of the aircraft had a typo in it; a comma that was one decimal place in the wrong direction. This typo would cause Lockheed Martin to lose $70 million, as they were locked into the contract, and the customer, whoever it was, wouldn’t agree to adjust the error.

(Photo PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

3. Googol

Typosquatting is a controversial practice where people register slightly misspelled versions of popular websites to generate hits and revenue, and, according to a Harvard study in 2010, it can be very lucrative. Researchers found that whenever someone types in the wrong address to go to a website, which is about 0.7% of the time, they are normally redirected to a site covered in advertisements. Going to ‘typo’ websites happens over 70 million times a day, costing the correctly spelled domain tons of cash. In fact, as Google supply more than half the ads on the typo sites, its estimated the search giant earns a whopping $500 million from the practice.

(Alamy)

2. Yellow Mages

In 1988 a Californian travel agency posted an advert in the Yellow Pages for ‘Exotic travel’, but unfortunately a typo led to it advertising ‘erotic travel’ instead. The agency’s reputation was destroyed, losing 80% of its existing customers and gaining next to no new business because of the advertisement - aside from prank calls and heavy breathing perverts. Yellow Pages allegedly refused to issue a correction so the travel agency sued, and won $18 million on the grounds of gross negligence.

(Danabeth555 via Getty Images)

1. NASA Rackets

On July 22, 1962 the Mariner 1 space probe exploded shortly after liftoff, in one of the most expensive typo related incidents in history. NASA investigators concluded that the omission of a single hyphen in the guidance software had led to a series of false course correction signals. The rocket was then deliberately detonated to prevent the rocket crashing down in a populated area. Political pressure to get the rocket in space was blamed for the rushed preparations; leading to the typo’s presence. The rocket was worth between $80 and $150 million.

(NG Images / Alamy)

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In 1872, a misplaced comma cost the United States Government $2 million. To put that in perspective, today that comma would be worth over $50 million. The tiny error was made in the US Tariff Act, instead of making tropical 'fruit-plants' exempt from tariffs, the act used the wording 'fruit, plants' -- a rogue comma meant all tropical fruit and plants were free from charge. It took two years for the matter to get fixed.

In 2006, Alitalia Airlines accidentally listed business-class flights from Toronto to Cyprus at $39, instead of $3,900. Two thousand quick-thinking travelers took advantage of the mistake, booking tickets as fast as they could. When the airline tried to cancel the tickets, they suffered a massive backlash from their customers. Ultimately they decided to cut their losses and keep the deal in place for those who'd bought it, but it cost the company somewhere in the region of $7.2 million.

On July 22, 1962 the Mariner 1 space probe exploded shortly after liftoff, in one of the most expensive typo related incidents in history. NASA investigators concluded that the omission of a single hyphen in the guidance software had led to a series of false course correction signals. The rocket was then deliberately detonated to prevent the rocket crashing down in a populated area. Political pressure to get the rocket in space was blamed for the rushed preparations; leading to the typo's presence. The rocket was worth between $80 and $150 million.

Check out the gallery above for all the other expensive mistakes!

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