American Car Salesman Becomes World’s First Quadrillionaire… For Five Whole Minutes

American Car Salesman Becomes World’s First Quadrillionaire… For Five Whole Minutes

Image: Chris Reynolds

Chris Reynolds, a humble American car salesman and father of three, briefly held the title of the world’s richest man, all thanks to a jaw-dropping technical error by an online banking service.

For five astonishing minutes, Chris Reynolds was credited with a staggering $92 quadrillion USD — equivalent to over $135 quadrillion AUD. The seventeen-figure amount not only dwarfed the net worth of the world’s hitherto richest men like Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg but made their endless squabbles over new apps or big spends on Beverly Hills mansions or $700 million superyachts look absolutely paltry.

This month marks the ten-year anniversary of the astonishing incident which began when Reynolds casually checked his PayPal account one morning and was confronted with a wholly unexpected set of numbers: his balance had skyrocketed to $92,233,720,368,547,800 USD. At first, Reynolds couldn’t believe his eyes, worrying that he had somehow managed to wrack up a record-breaking amount of debt, saying he “thought that [he] owed quadrillions”, as reported by Super Car Blondie.

WATCH: See what a bonafide billionaire does with his money…

After realising that he had in fact been credited with the gargantuan amount, Reynolds quickly tunred to social media to make the most of his short-lived fortune. Sharing a screenshot of his ludicrous account balance on Facebook, Reynolds had hoped to provide his close friends with a few easy laughs, but quickly found himself going viral, back in the earliest days of wildfire online fame.

Unsurprisingly, alongside comments of support and excitement, Reynolds also reports being inundated with messages from long-lost friends who suddenly wanted to rekindle a friendship after they saw his newfound net worth… To put the figure into perspective, a billion is one-thousand times larger than a million, and a trillion is one-thousand times larger than a billion, already a near-inconceivable amount of money. A quadrillion, however, would be one-thousand times larger than a trillion.

The bank statement that changed everything… if only briefly. Image: Chris Reynolds

Sadly, the astronomical glitch didn’t last long, with PayPal swiftly correcting the mistake, returning Reynolds’ balance back to the far more humbling $0 at which it had stood beforehand. To make amends for their eye-popping oversight, PayPal offered to donate an undisclosed amount of money to a charity of Reynold’s choice. When asked what we would have done with his unexpected jackpot, Reynolds displayed philanthropism and passion in equal measure:

“[I would] pay down the national debt and, definitely buy the Phillies because I love the team and it would be within my budget”.

Chris Reynolds

While the brief spell of being the world’s richest man brought attention and excitement, it also invited plenty of humorous if unsolicited advice from the public, with many urging Reynolds to withdraw the amount to his bank account before the glitch was rectified. Another imagined a conversation between PayPal and Reynolds, where Reynolds — having used his fortune to buy PayPal — would command his newly bought employees to leave the astronomical sum untouched.

Alas, it was not meant to be, and the anomaly was quickly reversed. With an accidental keystroke, a quadrillion-dollar glitch turned a humble car salesman into a multi-multi-billionaire. Whether it was a banking blunder or a cosmic joke, it serves as a helpful reminder that in the grand game of fortunes, even the wildest rags-to-riches stories can happen in a heartbeat.