While most people can only dream of becoming millionaires or billionaires, one man experienced an even greater financial windfall: becoming a multi-quadrillionaire without any effort on his part.
One American man briefly enjoyed a moment of glory when he officially became the richest person of all time, but it was short-lived as he lost it all again soon after.
Chris Reynolds, a 56-year-old man, was stunned when he checked his PayPal account in July 2013, finding that he had been credited with an unbelievable $92 quadrillion, that’s $92,233,720,368,547,800 to be precise.
This unexpected influx of wealth elevated him to the status of the richest person on the planet and the only quadrillionaire to have ever existed.
As news of the event spread, several media outlets were quick to point out that the Delaware County resident was temporarily a million times wealthier than telecom magnate Carlos Slim, whose net worth was an enormous $67 billion at the time.
In an effort to make sense of the surreal event, Reynolds speculated that perhaps someone tried to have fun by giving him the title of the world’s richest man.
“It’s a curious thing,” Reynolds told CNN, “I don’t know, maybe someone was having fun.”
Reynolds recalled that his highest PayPal earnings had been just over $1,000 from selling vintage BMW tires on eBay. Therefore, it must have been a shock for the PayPal system to see his account with an astronomical $92 quadrillion.
As expected, the surge of wealth experienced by Reynolds ended quickly, with PayPal promptly correcting their mistake and apologizing to Reynolds for the “inconvenience” it may have caused.
In a statement, PayPal owned up to their mistake and thanked the richest man of all time for understanding the situation, saying: “This is obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr. Reynolds understood this was the case.”
PayPal offered to donate a sum of money to a charity of Reynold’s choosing to compensate for the mistake,
In a later statement, the online payment service praised Reynolds for his decision to use the mishap as an opportunity to donate to a cause he believes in, finding it to be inspiring.
“We think it’s inspiring that he decided to use this occurrence to donate to a cause he believes in,” the Papyal statement reads. “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!”
Speaking to Philadelphia Daily News, the outlet that initially reported the incredible story, Reynolds expressed how seeing those figures in his account made him feel “like a million bucks.”
Because suddenly receiving $92 quadrillion feels too good to be true, Reynolds’ first thought upon seeing the staggering sum was that he owed the money instead of it being credited to his account.
“It was quite a big surprise,” Reynolds recounted.
When asked by the news outlet what he would have done with the money if he could have kept it, Reynolds stated that he would have paid down the national debt.
It also seems like Reynolds is a baseball fanatic, as he has expressed interest in buying the Philadelphia Phillies baseball franchise if he can get it at a reasonable price.
At the end of the day, it seems that Reynolds won’t be paying off the national debt or owning the Phillies, as his wealth regrettably disappeared just as fast as he earned it.
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.