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May 21st, 2009
08:25 AM ET

Want to be an "accidental millionaire"?

The Heidi Newsroom AM show team is talking about this story today:

"Accidental Millionaires."
Police say the owners of a New Zealand service station ran off - after a bank mistakenly paid them $10 million. The couple had asked for a $10 thousand loan. Instead - someone at the bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into their account. Two days later - the couple disappeared. Police think they've probably left the country.

So we want to know:
What would you do if a bank mistakenly deposited millions into your account?
Would you take the money and run - or do the right thing?
Leave us your comments and cast a quick vote.

Don Lemon is in for Heidi this morning. Join us in the CNN Newsroom from 9a-11a ET.

From Bev German
Senior Copy Editor/Writer

Filed under: Anchors • Heidi Collins
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. David


    May 21, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  2. Jack Medley

    I'd return it. The international man hunt isn't worth it. Besides, I learned a long time ago that when you do stupid things, you accept the consequences of your actions.

    May 21, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  3. ST

    Even though I can really use the money and would do many good deeds, I would return it. I am a firm believer in karma and would never be able to fully enjoy the money.

    I feel like I'd be blocking the blessings that were intended for me.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  4. Karen Holdstock

    My conscience would not let me keep that money. Besides, who wants to spend the rest of their life looking over their shoulder?
    Do the right thing-give it back.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  5. Ed

    I would take the money from the bank and make it dissapear, just like banks do with peoples money. To the NZ couple I say run and dont look back.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  6. G. Keith Evans

    I have to say that I would probably take the money and run. I'm not a bad person or anything, but I rationalize it like this: if I make a mistake with my finances–no matter how small–the bank penalizes me with huge fees and, potentially, a mark on my credit. What accountability is there for the bank's mistake? Apparently, a $10M penalty payable to these fine folks.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  7. Dave from SWPA

    Ha! I believe in karma too, and maybe that payoff would be for all the misery I've been put through?

    If you have no ties why not run? MY adventurous side says "it would be the experience of a lifetime!"

    So, let the manhunt begin!

    If you miss a payment, or screw one up, the banks are ALWAYS right there, but with the big money they have backing them, 10 million is nothing today but another *write off!*

    I say let the adventure begin! No one could imagine the fun I'd have!

    May 21, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  8. Bo

    That's kind of a toss up for me. I am currently unemployed and desperately seeking employment in this crazy ecomomy. One side says take the money and run with the millions. But, my morals says turn the money in and hope for the best...not a life of looking over my shoulder being paranoid that the next stranger I encounter would be an Agent.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  9. John Showalter

    Return the money, of course! Behave with dignity and honor...ALWAYS!

    May 21, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  10. afroking

    I personally would take my chances, but in all honesty it would depend on what my financial situation was. I would put the money in a bank out of the country in a GOOD friend's name...Let it make about 5million intrest and return it after I make my money off the mistake.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  11. Dave from SWPA


    "Right thing?"

    PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT ONE!!! After what the banks, creditors, and the government has done to the people...Yeah, "do the right thing"....

    Run, RUN FAST, and don't look back!

    May 21, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  12. cpsenior

    I would take the money and donate it to my city here in Selma, AL god knows we can sure use it.

    May 21, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  13. Acyn In Los Angeles

    Of course I would take the money. With all the bailouts, most of that money is probably mine

    May 21, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  14. Leanna Archer 13 year old CEO

    I would return the money because it's wrong, it's immoral. How can you live a normal life looking over your shoulder thinking you're going to get caught one day. I am a role model and no money would make me happier that I am now. These people obviously had nothing that they care about when they took the money and run. What bothers me is how a bank can make such a big mistake. My first thought when I saw this news was that someone in the bank is part of this and that it was all planned, it's not like they accidently put one extra zero, that's 3 extra zeros. I'm sure that they will not donate any of this money to any charities

    May 21, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  15. Dayo

    This is truly despicable. To think that this couple were actually seeking assistance from this bank and then allowed greed to take the better part of them as a result of the mistake by the bank. Disgusting!

    Interpol should be sent after them. They will eventually be found. Search efforts should be concentrated in those countries with lax financial and immigration laws and those countries with corrupt governments.
    I hope they find them soon.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  16. NotACorporateTool

    This just speaks to the greed of banks. If you make a mistake they charge you fees, interest and anything else they can get away with. But when they make a mistake, the have the corporate storm troopers to hunt you down. I would take the money and dissapear its easy to do. If the NZ couple is reading this, come to Canada I will be happy to help you dissapear.

    Peace to people, war to corporations

    May 21, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  17. Laura Wong

    Return it!...No money can buy your dignity and your peaceful of mind.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  18. Cynthia Johnston

    I would help two dear friends avoid foreclosure then return the rest and take my lumps for helping my friends. I'd be happy to make payments on the money I "accidentally borrowed." It kills me to see two good people who have spent their lives and much of their money when they had it helping others. I feel utterly paralyzed that I can't just write checks and erase their worries and fears. I would happily take a hit to my karma to help them.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  19. Gumps Friend

    Run Forrest Run...

    May 21, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  20. Anorld

    are you surprise,the jobs lost, the republicans,It's your recession who continuouus. raise record inflation to canada,jobs lost too in France jobs lost,the chef the compagny,are kidnapping,by,the workers,the big protest,in Span the record the jobs lost.Say the truth to people. Pres Obama, working very well for american people,and he protecting the nation.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  21. Pam Cook

    I would return the money and run to do it! Just think of the person who made the error of entering a wrong number. I would enjoy the opportunity given me to help them correct the situation before they lost any sleep over something that happens to most of us daily. A simple loss of focus when helping someone else. This is a simple matter of trust between us all here, we share our human experience and honesty among us will heal most of our ills in our world.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  22. Del Wiggins




    May 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  23. walid Qaqish

    I CANNOT believe that the (united state of America), the most
    powerful country on earth, is not able to handle 240 prisoners.

    All that debate is a noise played on peoples' fear. If we work with
    the president , we can keep the country Safe are respectful.
    we have smart president working .

    May 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  24. Mikki Speller

    It's best that the money be returned. Karma has a way of catching up with you regardless.

    May 21, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  25. sleepless in Cincinnati

    Im gone!!!!!!!1

    May 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  26. marsh

    if i was not a spirital person i would take the money and run like a bat out of hell!!!

    May 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  27. Josh

    I'd take the money and run. There are plenty of places where you can live well for the rest of your life, with 10 million $, and never be caught.
    Moreover, if no one tells you that it was a mistake, you are even not guilty at all. It is thus questionable wether they can be arrested or not.
    So... why not run?
    Also, can you pass my IBAN to those accountants, please?

    May 21, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  28. R.L.Q.Fogarty

    NO DOUBT I'D RELUCTANTLY GIVE THE MONEY BACK...Why live in fear, remorse, a lie? Besides, as much as you think no one is watching, there is always a higher power aware of your actions. Best to stay true and honest to yourself.

    May 22, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  29. Sydnie

    By the time this bill goes into effect, the banks will have completed their rape and pillaging of the American Consumer. If Congress and the President really wanted to do something, they would have made this bill retroactive 3 years to when this mess the banks themselves created, and put a cap on interest rates. The bill reads more like political spin than actual help for the American People. Like millions of others, I’ve had card rates jump as much as 13%, all for being silly enough to keep my balances low and pay my bills on time.

    May 22, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  30. Penny

    Look at the example that the American people have to follow.
    CEO's taking hugh bonuses from defunct companies who have peeled millions from the taxpayers pockets and then given bailout money. Companies who make bad business decisions get a slap on the wrist and billions of taxpayers money to bail them out. Nobody's accountable. If the bank made a mistake and somebody benefited, I'd say to the couple who took the money, share it with the taxpayers. Karma does come around to bite you in the butt, this time it was the bank who got bit.

    May 22, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  31. marilynn


    R.L. FOGARTY HAS IT RIGHT "" why live in fear...""


    May 22, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  32. joseph

    jobs are hard to come by so id tell tre loan officer about his mistake first and if he wanted to correct the problem that would be fine but id probably tell him id split it with him first and if he said ya id say done and go on. The money would definately cure my problems and it wouldnt be steeling. thats were i stand.

    May 22, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  33. A. Felice

    I would return the money. Nothing good will ever come from doing something bad.

    May 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  34. Vicky, Winchester VA

    I think it's wonderful that we now have the first hispanic woman on supreme court. However, according to your ticker, there is a lot of other news very worthy of hearing about. Does CNN really need to cover this story A:LL DAY!!! I love to watch CNN, but lately I have found the ticker much more interesting than the stories reported. I would love to hear more news!!!! Not just all day coverage on specific news. How much can you possibly report on the new court appointment?? It's frankly, quite boring after an hour or so. And it's going to go on and on and on.......all day!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  35. Angel

    I think we over rate debit card use. It's not as ubiquitous as some think it is. The govt. is pintirng massive amounts of Federal Reserve Notes because debit card use can not handle monetary use. FDIC funds depleting is proof we will see stricter withdrawal limits from banks and a banking holiday like the Argentina corralito. FDIC fund will go bankrupt by the end of Feb. 2010 we will have the bank holiday, higher prices a larger denominated currency issued($1,000 bill and higher).

    July 26, 2012 at 3:23 am |

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