A school-teacher in India discovered something quite extraordinary when he checked his bank account online.
Parijat Saha thought he only had about $200 on his balance – but he was shocked to see that his account totaled 490-billion rupees (about $9.8-billion). He later checked at an ATM machine – and again, it was confirmed, he was a multi-billionaire.
According to BBC, Saha, who lives in Balurghat in the South Dinajpur district of West Bengal, earns about 35,000 rupees ($700) per month. At that rate, he would have to work 14-million months, or about 1.7 million years, to earn that amount (excluding vacations and other expenses, of course).
However, the very honest Saha contacted the local State Bank of India office to notify them of their apparent error.
"I called up a friend in the bank and joked, maybe money is overflowing in your bank, that's why your system has remitted so much money into my account," Saha told BBC.
Bank officials were reportedly embarrassed by the huge discrepancy and said the funds in Saha’s account were “uncleared” which meant he could not have withdrawn the cash even if he wanted to.
Thus, Saha’s tenure as the highest-paid schoolteacher in the history of the world was short-lived. The balance shown on his account almost equaled the Indian government’s annual education budget of $11.5-billion.
BBC noted that State Bank of India has yet to explain how this massive error could have happened, although the bank’s regional offices in Calcutta and headquarters in Mumbai are trying to find out exactly what went wrong.
A local bank official named Subhashish Karmakar told BBC: "I have been specifically asked not to comment on this issue.”
Saha added that: "Even though I got my [$200] back, the account still holds the billions of dollars as uncleared amount. I don't know how long I'll have to keep that astronomical figure in my account."
However, even if, by some miraculous fate, Saha actually got to keep that fortune, it would still not make him anywhere near the wealthiest person in India. According to Forbes magazine, that honor goes to steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, whose net worth is about $31.1-billion (or more than three times the loot that Saha found in his account).