PayPal User Was (Briefly) Worth a Cool $92 Quadrillion
Chris Reynolds, 56, of Media, Pa., opened his monthly email statement from PayPal on Friday to find an ending balance of $92,233,720,368,547,800 -- more than 1.26 million times the fortune of the world's richest person, Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu (as estimated by Forbes).
"I'm just feeling like a million bucks," Reynolds told the Philadelphia Daily News on Monday. "At first I thought that I owed quadrillions. It was quite a big surprise."
But when Reynolds logged on to PayPal's site, he saw a less unexpected balance: zero. The error, evidently, had been corrected. His good feeling remained, however, leading him to donate $30 to the Democratic slate for Delaware County Council.
Reynolds, who owns a public relations firm with his wife, said he generally spends no more than $100 a month using PayPal, buying and selling vintage car parts on eBay. Had his bonanza been more than an e-mirage, Reynolds said he would have used it to pay down the national debt first, then to "buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price."
PayPal has been close-lipped about how such a gargantuan error occurred, citing its policy of not giving out information on customer accounts -- not even those filled with heaps of imaginary riches.
This post has been updated here to reflect that the enormous error was in fact a negative balance, not a credit, as Mr. Reynolds had initially said."