A man receives a non-negotiable junk mail check for $95,093.35 in the mail, and decides to deposit it in his bank account as a joke. It actually clears his account:
The first friend I phoned informed me that it was no mistake at all. Just standard bank policy, crediting my account with the dollar amount but putting a hold on all the funds until the cheque bounced. I couldn’t touch the money and my bank balance would be embarrassing again in three days.
But seven long days later the lottery-like amount was still there and I visited the bank where an employee told me that the funds were now all available for cash withdrawal. All $95,093.35 was mine for the taking. All I had to do was ask. Windfall money begs us to take it and run. But I restrained myself. And gave the bank another two excruciatingly long weeks to do their job, catch up with their mistake, and bounce the cheque. But at the end of three hellish weeks, during which I hourly resisted the urge to take the money and run to Mexico, where it would be worth twice as much, I was told by my branch manager, ‘You’re safe to start spending the money, Mr Combs. A cheque cannot bounce after 10 days. You’re protected by the law.’
“A Man Walks into a Bank.” — Patrick Combs, Financial Times