In a Reuters report posted on Yahoo News, motorists on a highway in southern Italy got an unexpected cash advance when an armored truck overturned and spilled its contents onto the asphalt. The truck was carrying 2.5 million euros in coins, which tumbled out when the rear door opened up. It was on its way from the Italian mint to distribute to local banks.
Before police arrived, stopping motorists snatched up one and two euro coins totaling approximately 10,000 euros. Ironically, the news ran alongside reports in Italian newspapers of Italy’s austerity measures that will “cut public sector hiring and pay, temporarily block those set to retire and reduce funding to local government.”
Other Unexpected Windfalls
In May 2009, a New Zealand couple skipped town after they erroneously received NZ$10 million in their overdraft account. They’d only asked for $10,000. After transferring funds to various accounts in mainland China and Hong Kong, Westpac — the bank in question — was able to recover about $7 million. According to a Perth Now report in November 2009, the couple are still on the lam with about $3 million.
A 16-year old boy from Minnesota, who was described as being “learning disabled”, found a bag of cash containing $18,000 in $100 bills. He gave away about $11,000 of it to fellow students. After being questioned by the police, he took them to where he found it, where they discovered marijuana and scales, leading them to believe the bag of money was related to a drug deal. The police set about recovering the money he had handed out; no charges were laid against the boy – he was trying to be helpful by giving away the money, after all.
In Ekaterinburg, Russia, a man deposited 2000 rubles (US$65) into his account via an ATM. He was shocked when the receipt came out showing his bank balance at over 20 million rubles. The honest man then went to a teller to show them what happened, but was rebuffed and told that many strange things happen and to come back another time as the teller had other things to do. Furious, the man went to several ATMs and withdrew large amounts of cash, put it all in a shoebox and returned to a shocked teller. The man was then thanked for his honesty.