Pay Day Jackpot: A $1.3 Million Direct Deposit Mistake

Imagine checking your bank account on payday to find a little bonus cash in there - to the tune of about $1.3 million!

That's exactly what happened to a British supermarket warehouse employee - but instead of taking the cash and hi-tailing it to a remote island, the loyal guy returned the money.

Stephen Foster was in shock when his girlfriend discovered the mistake. The 31-year-old's pay slip showed an astronomical salary stipend of nearly $2.3 million dollars! After taxes were taken out, $1.3 million was deposited into his account.

Without hesitation, Foster immediately contacted his company and explained the mistake. Within hours the money was back in corporate hands, and Foster got a second bonus for his honesty - a case of beer and a bottle of champagne. Not exactly an equal exchange, but the five-year employee gets high marks in the honor department.

While the idea of keeping such a big unexpected bonus sounds like the perfect holiday treat - most employers are entitled to take back such a windfall if it's indeed an error. Check those direct deposit agreements you signed - they usually state that employers reserve the right to correct any deposit errors without even telling you.

Banks have their own rules too - giving direct depositors five days to correct errors. That means Foster probably did the right thing by informing his employer about the error. An amount that big wouldn't have gone unnoticed on the books - and that would have been one heck of an overdraft penalty had he withdrawn the cash.

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