“I’m a very responsible guy. I would pay the national debt down first. Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price.”
— Chris Reynolds, of Media, Pa., on seeing in an email statement that his PayPal balance was $92,233,720,368,547,800 . He was not a quadrillionaire — nor the richest man in the world — for long, however. When he logged on to his PayPal account, his balance read $0. Was someone at PayPal a bit spacey? Perhaps PayPal just has astronomical on the mind: As the Merc’s Heather Somerville wrote last month, the company is working on a payments system for use in outer space. But back to the big oops. ”This is obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr. Reynolds understood this was the case,” the San Jose company said in a statement, according to CNN. The company, owned by eBay (market capitalization: about $73.8 billion), said it offered to donate money to a cause chosen by Reynolds.
Photo of PayPal’s San Jose office from Reuters archives