Splitting the electric bill among your housemates can be a bit of a bloody chore at the best of times – especially if one of them swears blind that they didn’t leave their portable aircon on for the whole time they were in Bali despite the fact you could hear it whirring from behind their locked door. Fuck you, Dan! But splitting the bill would be immeasurably more difficult if said bill was for 284 billion dollars.
This is precisely what happened to one Mary Horomanski of Pennyslvania, who copped a $284 billion bill from her electric company Penelec. The first payment was an eye-watering $28,176.
“I opened it up and there it was,” she told The Washington Post, who reported the yarn.
It wasn’t due until November of 2018. It was like, well, I guess we have a year to come up with this billion-dollar bill […] My eyes just about popped out of my head. We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.
Imagine putting up your Christmas lights so badly that you end up with a multibillion dollar electric bill. You’d be fuming! And you’d never be allowed to put them up again!
As you might imagine, this was indeed a mistake. After a phone call, Penelec confirmed that the correct figure for the bill was a comparatively paltry $284.46, meaning that this was clearly someone forgetting where that ever-important decimal point was supposed to go.
“I can’t recall ever seeing a bill for billions of dollars,” Mark Durbin, a spokesman for First Energy, Penelec’s parent company, told the Erie Times-News. “We appreciate the customer’s willingness to reach out to us about the mistake.”
I bet you are, mate.