Talk about a Christmas miracle…
The dream of every cash-strapped, debt-burdened and underemployed American came true in Texas on Sunday when a malfunctioning ATM started spitting out $100 bills instead of twenties, creating a chaotic scene as customs rushed to take advantage of the cash bonanza.
The broken Bank of America ATM, located in northern Harris County, provoked a two-hour frenzy of customers after a man posted on social media about accidentally receiving the bills when he tried to withdraw cash around 11 pm, according to Click2Houston.com.
Cars started lining up outside and even a few fights broke out at the drive-through ATM as people rushed to take advantage of the glitch, prompting the county sheriff to clear the area.
According to deputies, the excitement went on for about two hours before a Department of Public Safety trooper alerted the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and they swarmed the area.
People waiting quickly dispersed after authorities showed up and sheriff’s deputies stood guard to make sure no one could use the ATM until the issue was resolved.
The bank was notified, and the machine was still out of order Monday morning. It’s unclear whether the people who took the money will be asked to return the money, or be charged with a crime.
But the bigger question is whether this experiment with helicopter money will have any impact on Houston-area economic growth.