Wow! A Quadrillion-Dollar Credit Card Bill

North Texas man gets 17-digit surprise on his credit-card statement

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Thursday, Jul 16, 2009  |  Updated 6:35 PM CDT
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Jon Seale's credit card statement had a $23 quadrillion surprise on it this month.

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Wow! A Quadrillion-Dollar Credit Card Bill

A banking glitch turned a charge from Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck into a whopping 17-figure credit card charge.
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A North Texas man has a 17-figure credit card statement after a bank glitch resulted in an eye-popping charge.

This is what it looks like: $23,148,855,308,184,500.00.

Here’s how to say it: 23 quadrillion,148 trillion, 855 billion, 308 million, 184 thousand and 500 dollars.

It's more than 2,000 times the national debt -- and, according to Jon Seale's online credit card statement, it’s what he spent July 13 at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck.

“For that amount of money, I could actually own Wolfgang Puck himself," Seale said.

Seale, a husband and father of five from Trophy Club, spent much of Tuesday making calls to Wachovia and Visa in hopes of getting the exorbitant charge removed from his Wachovia Visa Buxx credit card. Both companies told him they were working to resolve the issue.

“It's an inconvenience, but it's not like I was truly worried my money was gone," he said. "It’s an obvious, glaring error.”

Seale even tried tracking down the celebrity chef himself.

“I tried to find Wolfgang Puck on Facebook and add him as a friend to see if he’d make a comment, but I didn’t have any luck finding him," Seale said.

Visa said the technical glitch that resulted in the giant charge only affected some customers with prepaid Visa cards.

"A temporary programming error at Visa Debit Processing Services caused some transactions to be inaccurately posted to a small number of Visa prepaid accounts," said Visa spokeswoman Elvira Swanson said in a written statement. "The technical glitch has been corrected, and all erroneous postings have been removed.”

Seale was not the only Visa Buxx cardholder to see the huge charge on his statement. A New Hampshire man found the $23 quadrillion charge after buying a pack of cigarettes at a gas station. A Visa representative said affected customers will also have the $20 overdraft fees removed.

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