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Lawyer Wakes Up To Find That She's $19 Million Richer

Clare Wainwright, an attorney from Sydney, Australia, recently woke up to discover an amazing surprise. After checking her bank account, Ms. Wainwright shrieked when she found herself $19 million richer than the day before.

According to the New York Post, the money first appeared in Ms. Wainwright’s account after National Australia Bank (NAB) sent the Sydney woman a confirmation letter for an enormous loan repayment scheme. Ms. Wainwright either never received the letter or didn’t go over the numbers carefully enough.

The letter confirmed that a direct debit of $19,225,703 would be repaid into Ms. Wainwright’s account on October 25. However, according to Ms. Wainwright, NAB should only have been paying her $1900 every month.

The money was then transferred into Ms. Wainwright’s St George Bank account, repaying one of her home loans and leaving millions of dollars sitting in her personal account. Ms. Wainwright’s predicament went viral when she uploaded a screenshot of her bank account – with her personal details redacted – onto Facebook and wrote: “When NAB accidentally pays out your entire mortgage, and gives you an extra [$19 million] to redraw … do I skip the country??”

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Ms. Wainwright hurriedly told reporters that she had no desire to spend the money, saying: I’m a lawyer, which is why I haven’t spent the money,” said Ms. Wainwright. “Mostly because I figured it wouldn’t play out that well trying to play dumb on that. I saw it and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s [19] mil’ and I laughed, I showed my broker and he said, ‘Oh God, I’ll get them to fix it.’”

After Ms. Wainwright’s broker contacted NAB, the Australian bank replied that it would assess the situation and reply in three business days. The whole situation continues to amuse Ms. Wainwright, who told Fairfax Media: “They obviously don’t understand I could just skip the country.”

When she was asked what she would do with the money if she could keep it, the Sydney lawyer responded: “Well, if I was allowed to use it, I’d pay off my mortgage and buy another place. Or an island.”

For the most part, online commenters are impressed by Ms. Wainwright’s restraint and humor. “A very smart person ... and patient, too. She would lose her livelihood if she attempted anything with the money,” wrote ‘Murasaki’ on the Daily Mail.

Another user, ’Jody Friend’, was moved by Ms. Wainwright’s honesty, but expressed her disappointment at Australia’s banks, writing: “The bank should take responsibility and the young lady should receive an award for reporting the error. Fair is fair. Banks should be held accountable. This is like putting the apple in front of eve!!!”

A third person quickly echoed this view, with ‘concernedofguildford’ commenting “Why is it that the banks claim that it's theft if you touch any money that has mistakenly been deposited into your account, but if you happen to send money to the wrong account, then they can do nothing without the account holder's authority?”

Source: New York Post
Photo: Clare Wainwright/Facebook

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