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Paypal accidentally creates world's first quadrillionaire

A US man almost became the world's richest person after Paypal accidentally credited his account with $92 quadrillion (£60 quadrillion).

The amount would have made him the world's first quadrillionaire with a wealth over 1,000 times greater than the planet's entire GDP.

Chris Reynolds, 56, of Pennsylvania noticed the figure of $92,233,720,368,547,800, when he read his monthly email statement from the service. By the time he logged in to his account the error had been corrected and the credit removed.

"At first I thought that I owed quadrillions. It was quite a big surprise," Reynolds told the Philadelphia Daily News. Despite realising that there had been an error, the imaginary sum still made him feel like "a million bucks" and in a charitable mood. He donated $30 (£20) to the local Democratic party slate soon after opening the email.

"I was moved to be really generous by good fortune," Reynolds said, adding that if he had actually received the money he would have first paid off the US national debt then bought his local baseball team, The Phillies.

Paypal has admitted the error and told the BBC, "This was obviously an error and we appreciate that Mr Reynolds understands this was the case."

The company has also offered to make a donation to a charity of Reynold's choice.

The world's current richest man is Mexican telecoms magnate Carlos Slim, who has a measly net worth of $68 billion (£45 billion). Slim this month invested £26 million into UK-based mobile app Shazam (opens in new tab).

Tomas is co-founder of Lucky Pilgrim, a team of journalists, photographers and art directors who connect brands to audiences through words, imagery and design. He was formerly editorial director at Chapel and managing editor at Courier magazine, and was a writer for ITProPortal as well as The Independent, EastLondonLines, The Sunday Times Magazine, and Croon.