back to article Paypal makes man 1000x as rich as the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE

A public relations boss briefly became the world's first quadrillionaire after a PayPal slip-up made him the richest man on the planet. Chris Reynolds, from Delaware, opened up his monthly PayPal statement and was astonished to find he had suddenly been handed a whopping $92,233,720,368,547,800 - roughly 1000 times as much as …

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  1. Haku
    Thumb Up

    If it were Baldrick

    He'd probably buy a turnip the size of a planet.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: If it were Baldrick

      Only if it had grown into a rude and amusing shape...

  2. Ye Gads

    I'd settle for

    Just a seconds worth of interest on the sum. That wold be fair. I'd still be a trillionaire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interest

      Technically speaking are PayPal allowed to remove the interest generated from the amount they placed in this guys account?

      Are they not just allowed to remove the amount they deposited?

      Obviously I realise this is just a mistake.

      1. andy 103
        WTF?

        Re: Interest

        Here we go, someone trying to come up with a "serious" point about something that's clearly happened in error.

        Along the same lines - if he'd received a bill (rather than credit) in error for this amount, then technically should he have to pay some of it or the interest for the time over which the error wasn't spotted?

        The answer - in both cases - is obviously no.

      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: Interest

        Doesn't matter. Paypal are a payment service, not a full bank - so they don't pay interest.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Interest

          Your PayPal balance does accrue interest if you sign up for their money market service. You can lose at it too although they haven't ever lost any of my money. The rate is better than most savings accounts. I certainly wouldn't trust it as a place to store large amouts but it's nice to have a little there.

  3. Zmodem

    he should have real money in his bank accounts and just use his debit card

    credit cards are for the poor

    1. Bobthe2nd
      WTF?

      @Zmodem

      You seriously would use a debit card to buy stuff on the internet???

      1. Zmodem

        Re: @Zmodem

        most shops online use paypal and your money is covered

        visa debit cards from barclays etc use the same verification as credit cards and your money is still covered

        1. hplasm Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: @Zmodem

          Barclays Etc are evil. Don't go near them.

          Worst part of the Barclays group.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Zmodem

            No, multiple credit cards are for the poor, a single credit card is for either the incredibly poor, or the wise.

            Single credit card with cashback or something similar, constant use rather than debit card and making sure that you pay off the credit card fees on time means that you'll make money back off the account (more than you would interest on a debit account) and build up your credit score since for some reason they use your credit cards to check this.

            On the other hand for the uber poor who've gone bankrupt. One of those 47% apr credit cards can be one of the fastest ways to build their credit back up to a reasonable level.

          2. Zmodem

            Re: @Zmodem

            they are the best bank

            natwest lost all my money and it took a month for them to find it, then they banned me from openning up another account and having rubbish switch debit card

            1. Zmodem

              Re: @Zmodem

              when you use your debit card, the money is paid straight out of your bank account and you dont have to think about it again or pay it off monthly

              visa debit cards you can use worldwide

              you probably need to ask the bank for a new limit if you want to buy a super car

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Zmodem

                In the UK, when you purchase something with a credit card that is over £100 in value, the credit card company is equally liable for it. This means if the company you purchased it from goes bankrupt, the credit card company has to refund you. This protection is not offered with debit cards.

                Additionally, you can arrange for your full credit card balance to be paid off every month which means you do not have to worry about it and do not pay any interest. You effectively get up to eight weeks interest free credit.

                1. Matthew 25
                  Go

                  Re: @Zmodem

                  "In the UK, when you purchase something with a credit card that is over £100 in value, the credit card company is equally liable for it."

                  Quite true. In-fact you only need to part pay for something e.g. pay the deposit on your car, to get this protection.

          3. tony2heads
            Flame

            Re: @Zmodem

            Barclays group

            ABSA (the local part in South Africa) are contending for the title of worst!

            http://www.fin24.com/MyFin24/Detained-over-fraudulent-debit-card-20130613

            A man shopping was detained for hours because his card was declared fraudulent by the system; they were waiting for the ABSA fraud check expert to come along

            " He proceeded to ask me four or five questions to verify that I was the account holder. That was done in under a minute and I was told everything is fine.

            I asked what the problem was and why my family and I were subjected to this. He proceeded to tell me that it was simply an Absa system error and also told us that if he had not come through to verify my identity, I would have spent the remainder of the weekend in jail."

        2. mike2R

          Re: @Zmodem

          The reason to use a credit card rather than a debit card is not so much the level of protection offered - Visa Debit is pretty much as good as a credit card from that point of view. Its just that its a hell of a lot less disruptive to have your available credit nicked than your bank account cleared out, even if you do get the money back down the line.

          That said, if you want to be nice to the seller on a large purchase, use a debit card. They pay a percentage on credit card transaction, and a flat fee on debit cards.

          1. Zmodem

            Re: @Zmodem

            most people with money have a savings account or an ISA thing

            your debit is only linked to your current accoumt

            no company will go bankrupt overnight and not dispatch your goods

            if you have real money you can just buy a car with your debit card and wave it about better then a gold card

            1. Don Jefe
              Thumb Down

              Re: @Zmodem

              I bought my wife's SmartCar on my credit card simply because of the cash (points really) back option. I use my credit card for 95% of my purchases. There is no interest as I pay the balance every month, no practical limit, and I have enough reward points to buy all the birthday presents I have to get throughout the year. I also get large discounts on my plane tickets, rental cars and car insurance and don't have to carry much cash.

              Not sure where you're getting your financial advice, but you need to find someone new. If you're using cash or debit you aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

              1. Tom 13

                Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

                That's a load of crap and you know it. There's no such thing as a free lunch, so you're paying for those points somewhere. Maybe you're benefiting from cost shifting to the poor who get stuck with 47% rates. More likely you're paying for it in the form of higher prices on the goods you purchase.

                There's only one good reason to use a credit card for an internet purchase: fraud protection. Everything else is a rationalization about to justify overspending.

                Full disclosure: I've done more rationalizing than most about this in my younger days. I'm spent the last three years trying to clean up the mess I made and am likely to spend the next three years before I'm finished. And I spent the ten years before that pretending I was trying to clean up the mess.

                1. Don Jefe
                  Windows

                  Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

                  Nobody said free lunch, you have to pay, but why not stretch the dollar a little further. Using my credit card has no down side for me. I have the money for my purchases but if I pay with cash or check I don't get the rewards. The annual card holder fees are trivial next to what I receive in points and less than what I accrue annually in my savings account.

                  It sounds like you were using your credit cards as short term loans instead of as a cash substitute. That's simply poor financial management. Just because you made poor decisions in the past doesn't mean you can't learn from them and not be scared of credit cards.

                  1. Tom 13

                    Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

                    I'm not scared of them. Still use them for some things while I'm paying off the rest.

                    But I'm not shaking down people who can't afford the bill by asking for more than what I'm paying for on my credit cards. You may not visibly see the cost, but the cost is still there. This is what turns me off most about liberals and progressives: they lord their "moral superiority of caring about others" over conservatives while screwing them over and claiming they aren't. Pay your own bills including the costs for all those people moving the bits around that represent your money.

                2. mike2R

                  Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

                  Tom 13 - there is a higher cost in using credit cards, but the way things are at the moment for consumer purchases, these are generally eaten by the merchant. Very few places will make you pay the additional transaction fees for using a credit card rather than a debit card, so any rewards are basically free money to you as long as you don't do something silly like not pay off the balance in full.

                  B2B transactions, understandably enough, will typically pass the cost on to their customers.

                  1. Don Jefe

                    Re: aren't realizing the full purchasing power of your money.

                    In the US merchant services agreements strictly prohibit the merchant passing on processing fees to the customer beyond a certain set amount that can't be calculated as a percentage of the purchase. Small merchants get around this by offering discounts for cash or minimum purchase amount when using a card.

                    But yes, if you pay your balance in full every month you are essentially getting free money through the rewards systems.

                  2. Tom 13

                    Re: these are generally eaten by the merchant.

                    These are NEVER eaten by the merchant. The merchant ALWAYS passes them along because he doesn't have any choice about it. Because of the restrictive laws about processing them that means yes they spread them to everybody including customers who pay cash.

                    This isn't me talking out my ass. This is me telling you I've been the person recommending how we were going to pass the cost along to our customers when our organization implemented our credit card processing system. And the 25 other people in the room (because we were a little d democratic organization at the time) agreeing with me. It isn't rocket science.

                    1. mike2R

                      Re: these are generally eaten by the merchant.

                      I am an ecommerce merchant. We eat the fees on credit card processing.

                      Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up. Trust me on this, we set them at the level where we think we will make the most money. Cost are obviously vitally important, but this "they'll just put their prices up" is a fallacy.

                      If we could put our prices up without losing more money in lost sales than we were making from the higher price, don't you think we'd have done it already?

                      1. Tom 13

                        Re: Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up.

                        So when your costs exceed your profit margins you all just happily give stuff away out of the generosity of your hearts?

                        Fat chance. Somebody in your organization is making damn sure prices keep up with costs, and that includes the costs of credit card processing. They may hide it the same way the whole MBS thing was supposed to hide the high-risk loans, but it works just as effectively.

                        1. mike2R

                          Re: Merchants do not raise their prices when their costs go up.

                          If we can't make money doing what we do we shift what we do (as we've done several times over the years) or go out of business.

                          You're missing the point about pricing. We are not altruistically keeping our prices down when our costs go up, we are deliberately trying to get as much money for our products as humanly possible already. The only reason we are not charging more than we currently do is that people have an annoying habit of buying stuff elsewhere if we do that. There probably are products we could make more money on by charging more, but that is an oversight on my part, and if I can figure out which ones they are I'll put them up first thing on Monday morning, even if our costs were halved.

            2. mike2R

              Re: @Zmodem

              I'd find it pretty damn inconvenient to have my current account out of action - I imagine it would cause all sorts of issues with direct debits and standing orders, and make paying utility bills harder etc.

              Nothing impossible, but why not use a credit card and minimise the issue? As long as you pay it off every month there is no downside - I find it helps me control my spending since I get a letter each month telling me how much I've spent in the last month.

              Probably should look into the reward thing though. I'm still using the card I got when I was a student and they don't give me anything like that.

              1. Zmodem

                Re: @Zmodem

                most savings accounts and ISA`s make the point of being able to have access to your money when you like, so you just transfer money into your current account when you want to buy something big

                1. Don Jefe

                  Re: @Zmodem

                  If you're balancing spending out of your savings you're losing interest. Using a CC doesn't effect your holdings as long as you pay it every month.

                  1. Zmodem

                    Re: @Zmodem

                    you rarely buy anything worth more than a grand

                    any new online shop that uses visa, you will have to start a visa account or enter your password when the transaction will happen unless someone else has brought something and the shop has been added to the authorized shop database

                    1. Zmodem

                      Re: @Zmodem

                      and if you earn £15-22k a year you can probably put 40-50% of your wages each month into your savings and only need to keep your current account around £1800

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: @Zmodem

                        > and if you earn £15-22k a year you can probably put 40-50% of your wages each month into your savings and only need to keep your current account around £1800

                        You will find that much harder once you are old enough to earn money and to move out of your parents house.

                        £22k gross = £17,777.76 net which means you will take home £1,481.48 per month. If 50% of this is going to savings this leaves you £740.74 for your rent or mortgage (£550 would be cheap), electricity (£50), council tax (£100), gas (£25), water (£30). You are now digging into your savings and you have still to pay for your phone, broadband, clothes, transport, entertainment, shiny shiny, TV license and subscription, food and a whole lot more.

                        1. Zmodem

                          Re: @Zmodem

                          i find it easy, i live in a council flat on my own, if i earn £1500 a month, i cover all bills and food with the £500, the rent is only £320 and council tax is rubbish and area is full of chavs who never intend to work and cry about you buying milk everyday

                          mortages are usually cheaper then the average private flat rent of £600-1200 a month, you just need to save the £25,000 mortage deposit

                          if you bank account gets emptied, and you tell the bank, your debit card is canceled there and then and you will received a new card with the last few digits and the security number on the back changed within 1-3 days

                          1. Zmodem

                            Re: @Zmodem

                            unless you live in a council house, by the time you have saved up £25,000, you can probably just buy the house your living in with cash, depending how much rent you have paid yourself and not in benefits

                          2. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            Re: @Zmodem

                            > mortages are usually cheaper then the average private flat rent of £600-1200 a month,

                            The £25k deposit will be 10% which will leave you with £225k to pay off. With a 25 year mortgage at 4% this will mean a monthly repayment of £1200.22. If you only borrow £100k this will still mean a monthly repayment of £533.43 so my estimate of £550 for rent or mortgage isn't unreasonable.

                            > i cover all bills and food with the £500

                            £320 rent leaves you with £180 per month for everything else which is less than means tested benefit which will give you a minimum of £56.80 per week (£227.20). In addition, those on means tested benefit can get 100% discount on council tax, reduced cost or even free travel, free or reduced cost to access local amenities, reduced or lower costs for social events (cinema, theatre etc), free prescriptions and eye tests etc.

                            Like I said, when you stop living with your parents you will realise just how much things cost and how many things you have to actually pay for.

            3. garden-snail
              FAIL

              Re: @Zmodem

              Companies can and do go tits-up overnight. In many cases, outstanding orders are not dispatched, and refunds are not provided.

              If you've paid by credit card (and the amount is over £100) you can simply claim your money back from the credit card issuer.

              If you've paid by debit card, you are unlikely to ever see your money or your purchase.

              1. mike2R

                Re: @Zmodem

                garden-snail I think that is actually out of date. You are not protected by the same statutory rights as with a credit card, but as a practical matter debit card providers these days have equivalent schemes. This didn't use to be the case, and since it doesn't have legal force it is a weaker protection I suppose, but in practice these days the protection is equivalent.

                Still makes sense to use a credit card IMO though.

                1. garden-snail
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: @Zmodem

                  Thanks for the update, mike2R.

                  Good to see debit card users getting some protection, though I'd still rather have statutory protection than rely on the goodness of the card issuers' hearts.

              2. Tom 13

                @garden-snail

                It's not just the protection for items not shipped. It's also the protection for compromised account numbers. If they get to your bank account, your cash is gone. If they get your credit card they can trash it and your score, but you can get those cleaned up. It's a PITA, but you can clean it up. And while you are cleaning it up, you still have accounts from which you can function.

            4. Anonymous Dutch Coward
              Coat

              Re: @Zmodem

              I was inclined to tell you what to wave about but on reflection... please don't.

        3. Tom 13

          @Zmodem

          With financial thinking so deep, it's obvious you will never be wealthy. Neither will anybody who takes your advice.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Actually

      As any smart Banker will tell you, making purchases with debit cards are for people who can't get credit and/or don't know how to manage money. Credit cards don't charge interest if you pay your balance off in full every month, in which case they are an interest-free 1-month loan, during which your actual money is earning interest. And if you are smart, you only use credit cards with zero-fees and good reward programs, which adds icing to the cake.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Actually

        Smart Greedy bankers tell you that because they are raking in the fees from the vendors on all those purchases you make. Fees the vendors have to charge you in the form of higher prices. Plus of course higher taxes because they are "adding more value" to the product when they sell it.

        I did support for a smallish local bank many years ago. One gentleman who was in the lending department had a cartoon prominently displayed on the wall. I don't recall the start of it anymore (probably something like "cash is temporary), but the punchline was "but a mortgage is forever." Bankers all know where they collect their fees. Sounding like they are giving good advice is even more important to fleecing the sheep.

      2. jonfr
        Holmes

        Re: Actually

        That is wrong. Paying directly with hard cash (or debit card) is far better than buying with credit. It is better for the company in question, for you and the economy in general. The current debt culture we have is a big problem, but this what people are willing to do.

        If you do not want to loose all your money from card theft the best advice is to keep only limited amount on your card at any given time. The rest on normal none card connected account.

        1. Zmodem

          Re: Actually

          and £1000 is easy to cover out of your savings while the bank looks into the theft

          and the visa database can probably be used to block all transactions from any merchant any time if theft has been found

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    You have been handed the Fief Of Arrakis by PayPalian Decree. Members of the Landsraat are starting to mumble.

    Do you accept [Y/N]

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Trap

      This is one of them.

  5. Alan J. Wylie

    Add two zeros so it's in cents, then convert to hex. Ooh look - top bit set, lots of zeros and presumably his real balance is $41.92

    echo "16o 92,233,720,368,547,80000p" | sed 's/,//g' | dc

    8000000000001060

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wondered too

      Like Alan there, my first thought was where has that figure come from? It's very similar to 2^63 (9,223,372,036,854,775,808), so I'm assuming PayPal are using a 64 bit number, presumably with one bit for the sign.

      1. Disco Dance Donkey

        Re: I wondered too

        PayPal will just be using a standard variable type. int64 in cents makes some sense, just to not have to cast when reporting. However, for taxation and currency conversion reaons you would hope they used 3dp.

        1. DJ 2

          Re: I wondered too

          Not everyone uses 2 decimal places as their minor currency. I would hope that all accounts are to 6 decimal places at least, preferably to 10. Or they could see a lot of explaining to do in their future!

          1. TeeCee Gold badge

            Re: I wondered too

            The common way to do it is to use integers, with the decimal implied by the currency (0, 2, or 3 [2]).

            In most[1] jurisdictions you must round to currency units for storage, so no 6 d.p. shit. Conversions are run to more places in variables and then rounded post conversion for further use or storage[3]. Calculating all the line level components of a charge to higher precision levels and then rounding to currency units after summation is not permitted in places where tax must be calculated and shown at line level (like the EU).

            [1] Maybe all, unless anyone knows better.

            [2] Three? Yes. Halfpennies. Egypt, for one, still has three.

            [3] Highlight of my life in this area was the original Euro startup and the ERM. Currency conversions bertween currencies in the ERM had to be "triangulated" through the Euro. So instead of X to Y, you had to convert X to Euro, round to two decimals, convert the result to Y and finally round to the decimals of Y. The level of conversion precision was also mandated and there was often a small but demonstrable difference between correct triangulation and fudging it by working out the direct conversion rate. The evil-minded little sods threatened to come down like a ton of bricks on anyone caught fudging it too.....

    2. Squander Two

      echo "16o 92,233,720,368,547,80000p" | sed 's/,//g' | dc

      This is why I love the Register forums: in amongst all the sarcasm and tantrums, clever people actually figure this stuff out.

      Thank you, Mr Wylie.

  6. Chairo
    Facepalm

    PayPal seems to have some trouble lately

    Last month I got a "Congratulations, you just won 500 Euros" mail from Paypal. As I didn't join any game or such, I was quite a bit confused, to say the least. First of all I thought it is some kind of very well made phishing attempt, but the message was clearly genuine.

    Unfortunately they sent another message some one or two hours later, just to tell me "sorry - we made a mistake, no money for you, but you can still join our game. Please buy a lot of stuff, using PayPal to win".

    Quite a disappointment. Of course not half as bad as owning the world for a moment and then losing it again.

  7. Michael Hoffmann
    Joke

    Shoulda charged a fee!

    I do think he would have been in his rights to charge PayPal a "administrative and transaction fee" - or what PayPal itself calls their charges - in the reversal of this.

    As a generous person he could have left it at a low, low 0.001% of the total amount. Piddly, really!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Are you telling me...

    ...that people in Britain don't know who/what the Phillies are?

    What a sad little country. Probably don't even play baseball with a proper round bat - I'll bet they use a boat oar instead. Crazy that it took us until 1776 to toss them off our front porch.

    1. Gordon Pryra

      Re: Are you telling me...

      That's a bit rich from a country who host their own "world tournaments" for games that no other countries play.

      Also baseball players look like badly dressed people from the 40's, but from a country that still values the double breasted suit, I guess we are mean to mention fashion....

      Also Apple spawned in the USA

      nuff said

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Re: Are you telling me...

        @Gordon Pryra - >"Also Apple spawned in the USA"

        I think you've got that one all wrong - Apple Sales International is a $74 billion dollar Irish corporation. We know, because they don't pay a dime in US taxes.

        1. Yag
          Headmaster

          Re: Are you telling me...

          Mmmh... "spawned in" does not mean "moved for obvious tax evasion purposes to"

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Are you telling me...

          Apple, when they were spawned, were brilliant.

          The Apple ][ had 7 expansion slots - more than most PC's have today.

          Apple ][ series was a really fun machine. The original Mackintosh and Lisa where awe-inspiring for those raised on 8-bit home machines and 16-bit DOS PC's.

          It's the lockdown that has come since which is annoying. If I were Samsung, I'd be pouring money into the FLOSS apps which can substitute for bits of itunes and do that well on OSX. Make sure Mac users don't feel the need to default to iphone and ipads.

          Maybe they could do something clever, like putting out a cheap thunderbolt disk system with their software on it. Use that to get their brand in front of cashed up Mac users.

      2. Disco Dance Donkey

        Re: Are you telling me...

        It's called the "World Series" after the now defunct newspaper "The World", which didn't have international news.

        If you've watched baseball they have all these "made up statistics" yet the Americans don't watch cricket...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Are you telling me...

          Disco Dance Donkey: "It's called the 'World Series' after the now defunct newspaper 'The World', which didn't have international news."

          Not according to snopes:

          http://www.snopes.com/business/names/worldseries.asp

      3. Clinton

        Re: Are you telling me... @Gordon

        I don't know if two countries makes it a World Series, but here you go:

        http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=tor

        Also I hear it's very popular in the Dominican and Japan.

      4. Scott 1
        Stop

        Re: Are you telling me...

        Hey, we sometimes let the Canadians come down and play with us :P

        (Yeah, calling it the "World Series" is kinda dumb).

      5. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: Are you telling me...

        "That's a bit rich from a country who host their own "world tournaments" for games that no other countries play."

        Wow I did not know that Toronto is in the US.

        toronto blue jays win world series in 1992

      6. RTNavy
        Pint

        Re: Are you telling me...

        Apple Music (made famous by a little group named the Beatles) actually spawned in the UK well before Apple Computer. They even BEAT Stevie in court over the name and "settled" as long as Apple Computer never became a music company. Another reason why it took so long to get Beatles Music on iTunes!

    2. jonathan1
      Happy

      Re: Are you telling me...

      Awesome bit of trolling :)

      Baseball, that's like the game Rounders isn't it but with a larger bat right?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you telling me...

        It also plays funky music on an organ to keep the fans entertained. Y'know since the sport is so boring.

        Do Americans even pay attention to their sports? All these american inventions are just bastardisations of british sports, rounders with a bigger bat ,rugby with forward passes and lots of padding.

        And half the time they're practically admitting their sports are boring because they need a hoard of cheerleaders in skimpy outfits to build up excitement.

        America are kind've like the running joke of the world.

        (I didn't bring up basketball as it's canadian)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Pint

          Re: Are you telling me...

          @AC 07:25 - >"And half the time they're practically admitting their sports are boring because they need a hoard of cheerleaders in skimpy outfits to build up excitement."

          Wait - you mean they are playing a sport on the field?

          Beer - because it goes down well while watching the cheerleaders.

          1. Yag
            Trollface

            Re: Are you telling me...

            So....

            - Sports geeks used to start in college mostly for scoring with the cheerleaders

            - The cheerleaders do those stupid dances mostly for scoring with sport geeks

            - The public just enjoy the cheerleaders' skimpy outfits.

            Why don't they just make porn? it would be far easier.

          2. Peter27x
            FAIL

            Re: Are you telling me...

            "Beer - because it goes down well while watching the cheerleaders."

            Well except it's not Beer, it tends to be the nasty "Bud light", yuk

            (however America does have some great beer)

        2. SoaG

          Re: Are you telling me...

          Baseball is also as Canadian as apple pie. Just don't tell the yankees as they so desperately want to believe they were first to invent something. Anything really.

          1. Squander Two
            Devil

            Re: Are you telling me...

            There's a reason the World Series doesn't allow foreign countries in. The Yanks tried having a genuine Baseball World Cup, and who won, eh? Eh? Oo, the embarrassment.

            1. Dabooka Silver badge
              Stop

              Another good reason the World Series doesn't allow foreign countries...

              Wasn't it because it's named after the original sponser, the newspaper "The New York World"? Or is that myth?

              Either way, it's still a bloody stupid sport. Now I'm off to tune into Radio 4 for Day 1 of the second test at Lords. Now thaere's a PROPER sport....

              1. Grikath
                Trollface

                Re: Cricket... @Dabooka

                It's all good and well to poke fun of US american commercialised versions of oldfashioned school exercise, but seriously... Cricket?

                You mean the mandatory ambulatory exercise between extended lunches for the participants the old british empyrian elite seems so desperate to maintain is a "sport"?

                1. Maharg
                  Thumb Up

                  Re: Cricket... @Grikath

                  Cricket is the British version of American football (Handegg), as in an excuse to spend an extended period of time outside drinking, Cricket is better in that respect, as they have extended it to a number of days, and they at least had the decency to make up their own name

        3. Antonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: (I didn't bring up basketball as it's canadian)

          As is "American* football."

          *America being a pair of conjoined occidental continents. Canada being the American nation which spawned that rugby variant featuring forward passing and *lots* of little rest/doughnut breaks.

          Did Canada invent all the "American" games?

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: (I didn't bring up basketball as it's canadian)

            Looks hockey. Um I think so.

      2. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Are you telling me...

        We know what baseball is, we invented it (pretty much) as rounders, and just really couldn't see the point. We used to play it. Older readers will recall Derby County FC's old ground.

        Like that other big American sport Basketball, being invented by a Canadian. We don't really see the point of that either.

        I won't even bother to think about American Armoured Catchball which is essentially another English sport - Rugby, but with helmets and stupid team sizes.

        Had the article been about a UK chap who said he would buy "The Baggies" it would probably need a reciprocal explanation.

        When I saw "Phillies" I thought he meant the Philippines, which would be a nice thing to buy but it did seem a bit random.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you telling me...

        Probably why we're not quite so violent in the UK compared to the US. Threatening people with a rounders bat isn't much fun.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you telling me...

      Philli.... Thats some sort of cheese isn't it?

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Fihart

      Re: Are you telling me...

      Don't be silly. Most Americans don't own a passport, let alone have any knowledge of world sports.

      Many of those were invented (or at least formalised) in Britain.

      Obviously, Soccer, named after the Football Association (of England) which is literally global. Cricket (which is the national sport of quite populous countries like India and Pakistan), Rugby which is popular in NZ, Australia, Italy, France, Ireland, S. Africa. Formula One, Rallying and Motorcycle racing which are the only world motorsports. Perhaps the only major sports the US shares with the world are Golf and Tennis -- invented in Holland/Britain/France but formalised in Britain.

      I'll grant you that Japan, Korea, Mexico, Canada love baseball, but it just hasn't caught on worldwide like our sports.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you telling me...

        >Rugby which is popular in NZ, Australia, Italy, France, Ireland, S. Africa.

        Four of those are countries which were owned by the UK.

        Aside from France and Italy, the only countries that care about Rugby are (former) UK countries.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Are you telling me...

          There's a few more places that play it than that such as South Pacific islands, Japan even competes in the Rugby world cup, so not all former colonies after all.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Are you telling me...

            My favourite player when I was a lad was "Toppo" from that South American bastion of quality Rugby, Argentina.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Are you telling me...

          >Rugby which is popular in NZ, Australia, Italy, France, Ireland, S. Africa.

          Four of those are countries which were owned by the UK.

          I see you stayed anonymous, you disgusting traitor! Five of those countries once belonged to England.

          France was, as all should know, an English possession! In fact if memory serves (and online checking confirms) George III was the last English king to also be King of France.

          1. elderlybloke

            Re: Are you telling me...

            My History book says in 1066 , England became part of France,(well Normandy) when Willy came over and caught Harold when he was having a hard time.

            He had just defeated some invaders up North , and after marching up there ,having a Battle and marching back down again , his Army wasn't at its best.

            A bit of different timing and History would have been very different.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Are you telling me...

            So why haven't our monarchy gone the same way as the French one, then?

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Avatar of They
          Thumb Up

          Re: Are you telling me...

          In all fairness we owned most of France at one point. It isn't called brittainy for nowt.

        5. Pedigree-Pete
          Happy

          Re: Are you telling me...

          Argentina, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji (Ok maybe not Fiji), Japan, Georgia, Russia, Portugal, Namibia, The Netherlands & ironically, The USA, not former British colonies.

          Must be a good game, even the USA wants to play it.

      2. Greggles
        Pint

        Re: Are you telling me...

        To all of the comments about how popular british sports are around the world, while entirely correct, you did have the , what some would call unfair, advantage of owning most of the world at one point or another, and the people there kind of just got told that this was their new favorite sport.

        And to all the US bashing, if we really want to delve in to 200 year old crimes I don't think any country is going to come out of that one smelling like a rose, so calm down, have a beer and remember this was supposed to be a funny story about a company making the biggest banking error in anyones favor ever

        1. Maharg
          Happy

          And another problem with you Yanks…

          It was all in good fun old sport, hence the smiley face. Wot wot and all that, jolly good show.

    6. Maharg
      Happy

      Re: Are you telling me...

      I think the sad fact is people in the US are still shocked to find out nobody in the rest of the world, let alone the UK know who the ‘Phillies’ are, yet I bet you have heard of Manchester United…

      But what can I say? It’s no surprise coming from the country that gave us the World Series, which is not played outside of one continent, and call a game played predominantly using hands ‘Football’.

      In the UK we regard ‘baseball’ as an overhyped version of Rounders, which is a game played by 12 year old school girls, in plaid skirts and woollen jumpers, all be it with a smaller bat then baseball. You know to make it difficult.

      And while we are here, in 1776 a bunch of rich slave owners in 13 small bits of land on the arse end of the world who thought they were more important than the whole of India in terms of representatives in the British Parliament, disregarded what 65% of the population of those 13 bits of land thought and sided with the French and Spanish, (who had been attacking and murdering them for the last umpteen years, hence the tax to pay for the defence of the 13 bits of land) so they could pay less tax then the rest of the Empire and not be forced to treat black people better and go for a rampaging genocide of the Natives, who the British had agreed to protect.

      FYI, if the US had never left the Empire, not only would you have not had a war over slavery, but it wouldn’t have taken you 200 years to live up to the promise of giving equal rights to all men, (you know what year they legally gave equal rights to all men in England, regardless of race, creed or colour? 1215.)

      You would also drive on the correct side of the road, have better table manners (elbows, off, knife and fork in hands at the same time, not one or the other), be polite, beer would come in larger quantities, fewer adverts on TV, and you would have universal health care like the rest of the civilised world.

      1. Tom 13
        Trollface

        Re: Manchester United

        Of course we have!

        They're that team Harry Potter and his friends went to see play at the international Quidditch match.

      2. Irony Deficient
        Stop

        tales, of a sort

        Maharg, O! the injustice of unachieved alternate history. If only we had remained part of the UK, then we could have exhibited unfailing politeness when referring to other people’s birthplaces as “the arse end of the world”.

        In 1215, the Magna Carta did not give equal rights to all English men; serfdom (the condition of about 90% of the population in England then) persisted until the 16th century, and slavery in England lasted until 1772. Roman Catholic emancipation occurred in 1829, and Jewish emancipation happened in 1858. Any word yet on when all Britons will have the right to serve their country as monarch?

        In 1776, the British East India Company only controlled Bengal, Bihar, the Northern Circars, and a number of coastal cities; since these areas were not state colonies at this time, their inhabitants who had no ancestral ties to the UK had no expectations of representation in Parliament. The slogan of that “bunch of rich slave owners” in North America was “no taxation without representation”; had Parliament not waited until 1832 for internal reform, and instead created seats for western Atlantic MPs in the 1770s, then that alternate history might well have happened.

        Had that alternate history happened, keep in mind the conditions of the abolition of slavery in the Empire; Wilberforce correctly realized that the way to get the act through Parliament was by incorporating compensation to the slaveowners. The act reserved £20m* as compensation for the roughly 700k slaves† in the Empire. The 1830 US Census showed that there were 2m slaves in the US; that alternate history compensation fund would have needed £80m to offer the same compensation in all of His Majesty’s North American dominions. Note that in the slaveholding states of that era, that compensation would have represented between 20% and 25% of a fit slave’s market price. (I once read an article written by a Virginian in the 1830s exploring the possibility of mass manumission in Virginia via state compensation, undoubtedly inspired by the UK example; his conclusion was that it woud not be feasible, due to how much of the state’s wealth at that time was comprised of slaves.)

        * — For comparison, the total of UK government spending in fiscal 1833 was £50.6m, of which over half was interest on the national debt.

        † — Resulting in an average compensation of £28 11s. 5d. ($130.45) per slave.

        1. Maharg
          Pint

          Re: tales, of a sort @ Irony Deficient

          Well done that man!

          To be honest I am very much aware that I glossed over a lot of fact when writing that, but it was all in the name of fun.

          Although on review if I had put the word ‘Free’ in front of ‘man’ when referring to the Magna Carta then the argument would still stand, as in the 1960s the US didn’t have slaves, yet they also didn’t have equal rights, and I was careful to use the words ‘legally all men in England’ after all, once you persecute a population and throw them out of a country, they are no longer in that country are they? (I also used the word ‘men’ to gloss over the point women didn’t have equal rights until the 1900’s either)

          As for all Britons having the right to be the monarch, unless the Royal family change religion I don’t see that being an issue, considering how much power they actually have, however you just need to look at what happened when a Non white became president, and all of a sudden people starting trying to prove he wasn’t American!

          The 13 US colonies had Representation in Parliament, the issue was they wanted 1 MP for each colonies rather than 1 which represented the governance of all 13, in the same way as all other colonial collections were represented, as for the argument that they were ‘British’ so should have had more representation, so were the British living in other parts of the world.

          While I agree with your assertion of the size of the slave trade in 1830, However! Consider this, in 1830 the US was a lot larger then in 1776, in 1790, when the first census was taken, there were 694,207 Slaves in the US if the US had remained part of the Empire, and therefore neither expanded much further Westwards, (as France and Spain would have not sold the land to the British Empire) and the transportation of Slaves was stopped in 1807 its pretty safe to assume that the amount of slaves would have been much lower, as nearly 20 years of slave increases would have been cut leading up to 1790, and then the 40 years afterwards to 1830, even giving the US a generous 1 Million slaves, that estimate has just been halved.

          Seriously the point about the US not being able to abolish slavery in the same way as the UK it I totally agree with, in fact whenever I have had conversations about this in the past I have had to explain this point, often even to (self-loathing) Americans, but as I said before this was an exercise in good old fashioned British friendly ribbing.

          Thank you for responding with a good sensible argument and debate, you get a thumbs up, a resounding “Jolly Good Show” and British imperial measurement Pint.

          1. Irony Deficient

            Re: tales, of a sort

            Maharg, I responded with a good sensible argument and debate? I must be new here. ;*)

            By constitutional design, not all Americans have equal rights, the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding; the most obvious example being the ineligibility of naturalized Americans to serve as president. Yes, I’d noticed your care to avoid mentioning the fairer sex in your 1215 statement, which is why my counter-rant observed the same discretion. Certainly not being able to answer the question “How can I get elected as monarch?” must rank fairly low in most people’s daily concerns, but the original claim made no distinction on the relative importance of each equal right.

            The 13 colonies each had an agent in London to represent their interests in Parliament, but they were not members of Parliament; in modern terms, they were lobbyists, not MPs. In the 1770s, most overseas Britons were in the 13 colonies; the combined population of Britons in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia*, Quebec*, Bermuda, and the Caribbean were nowhere near. (The Britons in India and the Hudson’s Bay territory did not inhabit state colonies then.)

            The difference in size between the 13 colonies in 1776 and the US in 1830 is not as relevant as it might seem at first. In 1776, the UK still possessed West Florida (roughly the southern half of modern Mississippi and Alabama) and East Florida (roughly modern Florida). Without the distractions of the 1776-1783 war, there would have been no reason to sell the Floridas back to Spain. One of the treaties of San Ildefonso (I forget which one) would still have put Louisiana* back into French hands; since Napoléon would not have had a ready buyer of Louisiana in the form of Thomas Jefferson available to him in 1803, Louisiana would have fallen by conquest to the UK to protect its North American dominions after the Peace of Amiens ended. Thus, the alternate history territory would have been the same size. Note also that in actual history, the US import and export of slaves ended on 1st January 1808. Thus, I think that a US slave population of 2m in 1830 would still be a reasonable estimate in the alternate history scenario.

            Pardon me while I take out my slide rule to compute what these newfangled Imperial pints work out to in terms of Queen Anne’s wine gallon. ;*) All the best from my arse end … of the world!

            * — According to their contemporary borders, not their modern borders.

            1. Maharg
              Pint

              Re: tales, of a sort

              Just a few points to continue this, while I again, agree with much of what you said, you assume that Louisiana would have fallen to the British Empire, but could it not be assumed that any attack on Louisiana may have resulted in not only an adequate defence, but even a reversal and invasion of British/American lands by the French (and Spanish)? (Much in the same way when the US invaded Canada in 1812 the White House ended up being burnt down?) After all, the French (and Spanish) were hardly a force to be trifled with, they managed to stop the Royal Navy from bringing its full might in the American Revolution by attacking the Caribbean, and it’s not like a march into the 13 Colonies would be comparable to Russia in the winter.

              As for the import of slaves stopping in 1808, that law may have been passed, but it was not enforced on the American side, and Slaves continued to be bought and sent to the US up until much later, between 1808 and 1860 the Royal Navy freed and transported back to Africa over 150,000 slaves being transported across the Atlantic, and while the majority would have ended up in Spanish lands a large number would have been headed to the US.

              You are also forgetting that with the Louisiana Purchase came a large number of slaves, 10,000 in Missouri alone.

              As for the measurements,

              The imperial UK gallon, = 4.54609 litres,

              The US gallon, = 3.785411784 litres

              UK Pint = 568 millilitres

              US Pint 473 millilitres

              But in the interest of cross Atlantic relations, I will let you fill it with fizzy cold piss water, or Bud light or whatever its called, instead of the brown murky warm crap we drink over here!

              1. Irony Deficient

                Re: tales, of a sort

                Maharg, yes, I do presume that France could not have held Louisiana against the UK after the Peace of Amiens ended. So did Napoléon in actual history; after being unable to reässert control in Haiti during the Peace, he knew that he would not be able to hold his own in the Caribbean against the Royal Navy once the Peace ended. (Note the speed with which he sold Louisiana after public disclosure of its acquisition from Spain, and that every cent from the sale went towards his plan to invade Great Britain.) New Orleans was not fortified the way that Quebec City was half a century earlier; even without direct attacks, without a source of supply, its defenders would eventually succumb by attrition. As far as the threat that the combined French and Spanish navies posed to UK possessions during the Napoleonic Wars — look at the historic record. How many UK possessions were conquered through French and/or Spanish naval assaults between 1793 and 1815?

                Regarding the enforcement of the US ban on import and export of slaves, it was enforced, at least at ports of entry. From the slaveholder’s point of view, the ban made the existing slave population more valuable, since the supply would not be increased by new arrivals. On interdiction of the slave trade, it’s certainly true that the Royal Navy played a far larger part than the US Navy; the Royal Navy’s base in Freetown let the West Africa Squadron be far more effective than its US analogue was, generally based out of Philadelphia until the 1840s. Undoubtedly after 1807 there must have been some smuggling of slaves into the US, but by far the vast majority were for the Spanish and Portuguese colonies, where the import of slaves remained legal.

                The population of the Louisiana territory at its purchase was 97k; its slave population was estimated at 11k, so 10k in what is now Missouri (most of which were likely in St. Louis, which was the capital of the territory) is entirely possible. But 11k new slaves added to the 1800 US slave population of 893k only represented an increase of 1.2%.

                For the measurements, six of our pints are near enough five of yours. But since I have gout, (good) beer must remain a fond memory for me, so please hoist an extra pint (of your preferred size) on my behalf.

      3. J__M__M

        Re: Are you telling me...

        "I think the sad fact is people in the US are still shocked to find out nobody in the rest of the world, let alone the UK know who the ‘Phillies’ are"

        And without the footnote you'd be chirping on about how the US is always forgetting about the rest of the world.

        Make up your damn mind.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you telling me...

      Something to do with horses?

      Polo perhaps?

    8. Michael 28
      Happy

      Re: Are you telling me...

      ... am still checking property prices in the Philippines, just in case.....

    9. Jeff Green

      Re: Are you telling me...

      Baseball? Isn't that cricket for "special" people?

    10. Brandon 2
      Flame

      Re: Are you telling me...

      We, americans like a boring sport, if you can call it that, where you sit down half the game... but at least they're not lying on the grass faking injuries for half the game... to each their own.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you telling me...

      Baseball - based on 'Rounders' a game played by 12yr old British school girls, but played by men - that's probably where the name is derived from "BASEd on a girls BALL game"

      Basketball adapted by a Canadian to be a male game - based on 'Netball' another British school girls game

      perversely, the real innovation is with American Football, based on a British game for men called Rugby, but played by American girl-men wearing body armour - unlike Rugby which is played in socks, shorts and T-Shirts

      ;-)

  9. Big-nosed Pengie

    "For Blighty readers"

    Or anyone else outside the yoo ess of ay.

    How many Empire State Buildings in a football field?

    1. wowfood

      Re: "For Blighty readers"

      Are we talking actual football? Or handegg.

  10. alain williams Silver badge

    The interest

    Is he keeping the interest ? Even at 0.5% the interest earned on that amount for a few hours would have made him a rich man.

  11. Squander Two

    "Then I would buy the Phillies, if I could get a great price."

    Yup, I too thought he meant the Philipines.

  12. g e

    He missed a trick there

    I have auto-sweep set up on my PP account ;o)

    (At least that's how I remember having set it...)

  13. Justin Stringfellow

    Sue!

    What would have happened if he'd seen that figure, and dropped dead of a heart attack?

    I reckon it's worth a trip to the beak to see what he can wring out of them.

    1. Caltharian

      Re: Sue!

      the only problem with this is he wouldnt have been able to sue on account of being dead

  14. heyrick Silver badge

    The picture in the Daily Mail has what looks suspiciously like a negative sign in front of the numbers.

  15. Mad Chaz

    I use my credit card for pretty much everything I can get away with. Why? 1% cash back in the form of points I can use to buy groceries, 2% when I actually do the groceries and some extra points for using re-usable bags. Everyone eats and as it as zero annual fees, it was the best kickback I could find. How much does the card cost me in interest? Nothing, because I pay the balance entirely at the end of every month.

    It's kind of nice to get a 100$ of grocery and only pay 20 at the register.

    1. graham_
      Joke

      this comment is not in the spirit of mocking American sports

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Donating to a small charity or booking into a little hotel...

    Anyone else finding PP as the only option donating to charity or booking into a hotel? Even a tiny one-off payment or hotel reservation fee means PP stores your card and personal details... Their T&C is little comfort! Good luck trying to contact them to remove your details long after the transaction has concluded. So they want to be the first payment system in Space, eh?...

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Donating to a small charity or booking into a little hotel...

      "Good luck trying to contact them to remove your details long after the transaction has concluded." - could care less about that. I use a virtual card that is its own number and is authorised up to a specific amount. As far as PayPal can see, I use a different card each time. I must remember to delete expired cards (or PayPal will whinge) plus I get emails warning me of the expiry of my cards.

      When PayPal registers as a bank, is subject to banking practice, acts like a bank instead of their seemingly arbitrary behaviour, and follows the same rules and laws as banks, and agrees to the use of the official ombudsman instead of their unspecified internal investigations, then maybe I will consider letting my PayPal be linked to a bank account. Until all of the above conditions are met, the answer (even for "verification") is a simple flat no.

      I pity those who use real plastic on PayPal, and suggest that they see if their bank offers virtual cards[*].

      * - My bank, FWIW, takes the approach that plastic card payments will be outright rejected for on-line payments (anywhere and everywhere). Only virtual cards will work.

  17. Herby Silver badge

    On credit and debit cards...

    A friend of mine (at times I use the term loosely!) had his debit card hacked (he says it was by people our country doesn't like). They drained his bank account of over $200k. He has been in a struggle for over 5 years attempting to get some of the money released back into his account as we have this silly FDIC insurance for (at the time) $100k. They say "any day now" (*SIGH*).

    A credit card would have been a better choice, and is the one I personally prefer. You get lots of stuff (air miles, 1% back, etc.) and you get a month of float on the money as an added bonus! What a deal!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: On credit and debit cards...

      Back in '98 I had amy card cloned in Europe and someone in Germany bought £3k worth of stuff with it.

      Luckily I had used a credit card and company issued me with a new number and set my balance back to what it should have been in under a week.

      So yeah, debit cards in untrustworthy places...no.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cash

    Except for some online purchases, I have taken to carrying cash again. I do this to piss of people who are trying to data mine my purchasing behaviour and especially to piss off banks in general who hate cash with a passion and charge me for the privilege of keeping my money in my account. Of course, it is the government I hate most, as they have now made paying cash for a big night out with the boys an illegal activity punishable by incarceration and most likely some form of anti-terrorist torture.

    Seriously, look up what the maximum amount of cash you can legally spend in one hit is in European countries.

  19. Zot
    Facepalm

    Equals almost exactly 2^63

    I guess they store values in 64 bit numbers.

    I wonder if it clocked over to the negative and the high bit got set?

    Ha! idiots.. : )

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