ATM Spews Out $37,000 to Man Who Is Lucky the Woman Behind Him Calls Cops

ATM malfunction give $37,000 to man
Apparently there was an ATM machine that, due to a coding error, ended up spitting out $37,000 worth of cash to a man who had only requested $140 in South Portland, Maine, according to reports from WGME-13. The thought of a malfunctioning ATM spitting out $100 bills one after another is something out of the movies, or might seem to be a dream come true. Who wouldn’t want to have free cash coming to them, bill after bill, without having done anything wrong?

When I showed the article to a friend, his first reaction was, “Wow, that’s just like winning the lottery!” I think this is the first reaction a lot of people would have. In a sense, it is like winning the lottery


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10 Responses to ATM Spews Out $37,000 to Man Who Is Lucky the Woman Behind Him Calls Cops

  1. sheila says:

    What is it about these stories that intrigue people so much? I guess it’s because the banks are always playing dirty tricks on their customers that it’s good to see when something goes wrong for them. I’m glad that the man didn’t get arrested, although I do feel like I would have liked to see him get away with the money.

  2. Cathy D. says:

    I think there is something greedy in our nature that reacts to money differently than anything else. If an object falls on the floor, we’re more likely to pick it up and return it. But if it’s money, we hope no one is looking and stuff it in a pocket. I was shopping in Target with my young son one day and he found a $10 bill on the ground. I assured him it was not ours and we needed to find the owner. There was no one around and I didn’t trust an employee to try and find the owner. Eventually I let him keep it, but it would have been a better lesson if we were able to return it to the proper owner. Values are taught to us like doing the right thing.

  3. norman says:

    It’s funny we look at this person like a criminal but the banks are the biggest thieves out there and we don’t even give it a second thought, they steal from us everyday.

  4. Julie says:

    Yes, I do look like at this person as a criminal, whether he intended to be one or not.

    The banks “steel” from us every day, play dirty tricks on us and are the biggest thieves out there? Oh brother. I think that language is better aimed at our politicians/government.

    Also not sure how a bank can be a thief or how a bank can play a trick. Perhaps you are talking about the people who run these evil banks?

  5. This is very true, as I worked once at a bank. They keep track of all the transactions and they have cameras on the ATM 24/7. People if this happens to you just call the police yourself.

  6. Ted says:

    Jeff, think about what you wrote. First, ATM’s do not “spit out $110 bills”, at least not any of the hundreds of ATMs I have used. Secondly, you are stating that the man is guilty of attmpting to gather the cash and keep it. From your report (w/o citations I might add), you have already judged him. You really do not know his motives. Granted one would think most people would consider this “free” money to collect and keep. But have thought about how you would react to this situation? I have, and my first instinct would be to collect everything the ATM is spitting out, regardless of my intent afterward (I for one would return it). What are the alternatives? Call 911 while it is spitting out money? Walk away? No! It is simply as though you had just spilled a drink, your first panicked response is to clean it up.

  7. Ted says:

    Apparently there are discrepancies in these stories, if they are even true. All of a sudden I feel foolish for even replying to any ot these. Check out a different take on the story at

  8. Jo says:

    I was thinking this very same thing, Norman. For quite a while now, especially after the break-up of the Glass-Steagall Act in the late ’90s, the banks have been making short shrift of the hard-working citizens’ money. Their savings have been depleting because of the amount of risk the banks continue to invest in regardless of the damage being done. So, what happens? Congress looks the other way. And we become so broke as to lose our homes, our pensions, our livelihood.

    Without trying to redirect the topic, how do we know the man was going to run away with the money. Better yet, how did the man at the ATM know the machine was going to spit out thousands of dollars in $100 increments. Since when does an ATM dispense such a large increment? Paper bags on hand to catch all those bills? Really? It’s like it was premeditated. THAT then would make him a criminal indeed had he been able to get away with it. This comes across as a “what if” scenario rather than it actually did happened.

  9. Gailete says:

    I rarely use my bank’s ATM but if I did it would be when the bank was closed. I too would collect every single dollar it spit at me, although I would have to collect in in my tote bag or a plastic bags since paper bags are as rare as hen’s teeth these days. I don’t have a cell phone, so my intent to return the money couldn’t be accomplished immediately as I would have to wait for the bank to open or call their emergency number from home if one were posted. I would never assume the money was mine, but I certainly would be it’s caretaker until it could be returned safely to the bank. So I would be a criminal if I walked out with it? What is a person supposed to do with it? Leave it for everyone to take a handful or camp out at the ATM until a bank official rescues you? Our police department is across the street, so even to turn it there by your writing would leave me a criminal. Nonsense!

  10. dick says:

    a woman that was waiting to use the same ATM called police when he was taking so much time at the machine…

    seriously? you called the police because someone was taking too much time, but you had the time to stand there and wait for the police to show up because he was taking so long …? get a life!

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