A PayPal user in the United States was shocked to discover $92,233,720,368,547,800 in his account, according to the National Journal (via Yahoo! News). Even if it was for a very brief time, Chris Reynolds of Pennsylvania was the richest man in the world until the online money transfer firm corrected its error. After the mistake made international headlines, PayPal promised to make a donation in Reynolds’s name.
Speaking in an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Reynolds said the account balance made him feel “like a million bucks” and initially thought he owed someone or something that much money. In the end, however, he vowed to have paid off the national debt, which stands around $17 trillion. In fact, the wealth of Reynolds was 1,000 times that of the whole world’s GDP.
Reynolds also would have purchased the MLB franchise the Philadelphia Phillies. The Blaze reported that he felt “really generous by the good fortune” that he donated $30 to the Democratic Party for the Delaware County Council.
His shock, though, lasted only two minutes as PayPal returned his account balance to where it was supposed to be: $0. The company issued a statement to BBC News and noted it was just a mistake.
If the amount was indeed correct then he would have easily eclipsed the world’s wealthiest man: Mexican telecommunications juggernaut Carlos Sim, who is presently worth approximately $67 billion.
“This was obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr Reynolds understands this was the case,” PayPal said in a statement Wednesday. The company didn’t explain exactly what caused the enormous accounting error.
Despite the Federal Reserve printing vast amounts of money through its quantitative easing program and weakening the U.S. dollar, the central bank would still have a difficult time coming up with such a large sum. According to the Fed’s official M2 numbers, there was nearly $11 trillion in the economy as of Jun. 2013, including notes and coins in circulation, traveler’s checks and nonbank notes, demand deposits, other checkable deposits, savings deposits and time deposits.
Although Fed Chair Ben Bernanke is considered by libertarians and opponents of the Fed to enjoy printing that much money and dump it from his black helicopter, it would have been a disaster for the entire planet and wreak havoc not only for central banks but populations since there would need to be a high volume of dollars, euros, pound and other currencies from across the globe.