People, always check your bank statements. Eighteen-year-old Lydia Alcock was checking her Visa statement online when she saw that her off-peak Metro-North ticket from Grand Central to Goldens Bridge cost $23,148,855,308,184,500. Yesterday, the NY Times' Peter Abblebome wrote about the college student's amazement:
Ms. Alcock looked. She looked again. She gasped. She laughed. She shouted to her father: “Dad, you need to come here. Right now.” And then after realizing, to her chagrin, that she owed the staggering sum, not that she was the recipient of a tidy little windfall, she typed into Google: “How to say really big numbers,” and cut and pasted $23,148,855,308,184,500. It read: “twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars.”
It turned out that between 12,000 and 13,000 Visa customers were accidentally billed $23 quadrillion for various purchases. Visa fixed the error—and Wachovia waived the $20 fee for overdrawing on her account.
WCBS 880's Sean Adams, who worked in a reference to the MTA needing money, spoke to Alcock, who said, "I think the moral is you can't trust online banking" as much as you want to.
Also, check the menu—remember the $55 mac-and-cheese at the Waverly Inn?