The World is full of stories of great fortunes made and lost. From great sportsman, including Mike Tyson, who blew a $300m fortune in quick time, with some of it literally going down the toilet. Then there was the most infamous loss in Las Vegas history, when Terrance Watanabe blew $127 million on the biggest losing streak that sin city has ever known. Watanable took two decades of hard graft to build his fortune yet it only took one night of gambling to blow it. Then there have been billionaires who have made and blown vast fortunes, yet they all pale into complete insignificance compared to the story of Chris Reynolds.
Chris Reynolds is a regular bloke, who compiled the biggest fortune that the world has ever seen. That fortune? $92 Quadrillion. A bit like Terrance Watanabe and his infamous gambling, Reynolds went on an extreme journey of rapid gains and even faster losses. Unfortunately for Reynolds though, he owed his fortune to the most spectacular internet failing in history. For his money came – and then was snatched back – by a massive payPal error last Friday.
By all accounts, Chris Reynolds was a pretty regular PayPal user. He used his account to make numerous small payments, usually amounting to £60-70 a month. Then PayPal took him on a journey consisting of spectuacular gains and losses, which briefly saw him become the worlds richest man with a fortune of $92 Quadrillion (around £60 Quadrillion). Unfortunately for Reynolds, it was all caused by a spectactuar PayPal error.
Reynolds discovered his fabulous new wealth when he opened his PayPal monthly statement to discover the startling amount in his account. That figure? $92,233,720,368,547,800
In his state of shock, Reynolds actually thought that he owed that money. “At first I thought that I owed quadrillions,” said the down-to-earth Reynolds, according to Philly.com
. “It was quite a big surprise.”. Before he could properly figure out what had happened, his balance had returned to zero, meaning that he breaks all records for speed of financial losses experienced by the then Worlds richest man.
“This was obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr Reynolds understands this was the case,” said PayPal, in a statement that the company made to the BBC. In return for Reynolds understanding, PayPal are to make a donation to a charity of Reynolds choice.
Great fortunes made and lost
From the skull bones of a dinosaur to buying a funeral pyramid, Cage found some insane ways to blow his fortune. He never technically went bankrupt, but it all ended in hot water with the IRS and an ugly court case with his former manager.
Mike Tyson was the youngest ever heavyweight champion of the World, and had a career that spanned two decades in the hardest sport going. Known as the baddest man on the planet, Tyson was as infamous for his out of the ring misdemeanours as he was famous for his in-ring heroics. He ammassed a fortune that surpassed $300m, but conspired to blow it in spectactular fashion. By 2004, Tyson was in debt for $23m, having spent (literally) a fortune on Tigers and other elaborate purchases.
Famed for Mickey Mouse, things weren’t always as good for Walt Disney. His first venture in Holywood ended in bankruptcy, meaning he had to start over in California.