Wednesday, July 17, 2013

92 quadrillion reasons to get a PayPal account?

I don't have a PayPal account -- there's no PayPal button on this site, no "digital rice bowl" (as I've heard the PayPal button called) begging for reader support (I like the term "tip jar" better). I don't have a gift shop; there are no Curmudgeon action figures due out in time for Christmas. (In my case, they'd be more like inaction figures, anyway.)

But I may have to rethink this whole PayPal thing. Maybe what happened to Chris Reynolds, a Pennsylvanian who sells car parts online, might happen to me.

The linked article, by Eric Pfieffer of Yahoo! News, appears today on Yahoo's Sideshow blog.

According to Pfieffer, Mr. Reynolds checked his PayPal account recently and discovered a balance of $92,233,720,368,547,800 -- that's $92 quadrillion or, according to the linked article, more than the world's annual gross domestic product. Indeed, $92 quadrillion is such a big number, according to this post on Circa, that it is 1300 times greater than the world GDP (which it puts at a relatively paltry $70.2 trillion). Compared to $92 quadrillion, Circa says, Bill Gates' entire $72.7 billion fortune would be a rounding error.

How large is $92 quadrillion? It's more than 550,000 times more than the national debt, using the national debt figure posted on as a reference ($16,742,208,376,232.88 as of July 17, 2013). According to Wikipedia, there are anywhere from one to ten quadrillion ants on Earth (their total mass equaling that of all humanity, even including that enormous, sweaty guy that always tries to squeeze into the seat next to you on the bus when the weather is hot).

The linked articles (and this related UPI account) suggest that Reynolds found out about his apparent great fortune when he opened up the PayPal statement that came in the mail. When he logged on to his account, however -- just to double check, of course -- I'm sure the thought of immediately transferring any or all of it to his bank account never crossed his mind -- he discovered that his account balance was back to... zero.

Still, Reynolds said, for a moment there, he felt like "a million bucks."

And then some.

So if I ever do put up a PayPal button... it's not that I'm trolling for donations... it's just that I'm checking my account balance every five seconds or so.

Just in case.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i just heard this yesterday, too funny! didn't happen to me though, rats!

smiles, bee