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Antiques & The Arts

10 Typos That Cost Millions Of Dollars


GingerfeedS Presents 10 Typos That Cost Millions
Of Dollars Number One: Hyphens don’t usually score
high on the list of most important punctuation. But a single dash led to absolute failure
for NASA in 1962 in the case of Mariner 1, America’s first interplanetary probe. The
mission was simple: get up close and personal with close neighbor Venus. But a single missing
hyphen in the coding used to set trajectory and speed caused the craft to explode just
minutes after takeoff. 2001: A Space Odyssey novelist Arthur C. Clarke called it “the
most expensive hyphen in history.” Number Two: A missing letter cost one sloppy
eBay seller more than half-a-mill on the 150-year-old beer he was auctioning. Few collectors knew
a bottle of Allsopp’s Arctic Ale was up for bid, because it was listed with a single
‘P’ instead of two. One eagle-eyed bidder hit a payday of Antiques Roadshow proportions
when he came across the rare booze, purchased it for $304, then immediately re-sold it for
$503,300. Number Three: Not even the heavenly father
is immune to occasional inattention to detail. In 1631, London’s Baker Book House rewrote
the 10 Commandments when a missing word in the seventh directive declared, “Thou shalt
commit adultery.” Parliament was not singing hallelujah; they declared that all erroneous
copies of the Good Book—which came to be known as “The Wicked Bible”—be destroyed
and fined the London publisher 3000 pounds. Number Four:. A plate of tagliatelle with
sardines and prosciutto would typically only be offensive to a vegetarian’s senses. But
an unfortunate blunder in The Pasta Bible, published by Penguin Australia in 2010, recommended
seasoning the dish with “salt and freshly ground black people.” Though no recall was
made of the books already in circulation, the printer quickly destroyed all 7000 remaining
copies in its inventory. Number Five: . Online trading was still in
its relative infancy in 1994, a fact Juan Pablo Davila will never forget. It all started
when the former copper trader—who was employed by Chile’s government-owned company Codelco—mistakenly
bought stock he was trying to sell. After realizing the error, he went on a bit of a
trading rampage—buying and selling enough stock that, by day’s end, he had cost the
company/country $175 million. Davila was, of course, fired. And Codelco ended up filing
suit against Merrill Lynch, alleging that the brokerage allowed Davila to make unauthorized
trades. Merrill coughed up $25 million to settle the dispute—but not before a new
word entered the popular lexicon: davilar, a verb used to indicate a screw-up of epic
magnitude. Number Six: In December 2005, Japan’s Mizuho
Securities introduced a new member to its portfolio of offerings, a recruitment company
called J-Com Co., nicely priced at 610,000 yen per share. Less than a year later, one
of the company’s traders made more than a simple boo-boo when he sold 610,000 shares
at one yen apiece. No amount of pleading to the Tokyo Stock Exchange could reverse the
error. Number Seven: And you thought alien sightings
were the only interesting thing happening in Roswell, New Mexico! In 2007, a local car
dealership came up with a brilliant plan to stimulate sluggish sales: mail out 50,000
scratch tickets, one of which would reveal a $1000 cash prize. But Atlanta-based Force
Events Direct Marketing Company mistakenly upped the ante when they printed said scratch
tickets, making every one of them a grand-prize winner, for a grand payout of $50 million.
Unable to honor the debt, the dealership instead offered a $5 Walmart gift certificate for
every winning ticket. Number Eight: Humans and computers don’t
always play well together. In 2006, New York City comptroller William Thompson admitted
that a typo—an extra letter, to be precise—caused its accounting software to misinterpret a
document, leading the city’s Department of Education to double its transportation
spending (shelling out $2.8 million instead of $1.4 million). Number Nine: . Not to be outdone, just last
month, New York City’s Transportation Authority had to recall 160,000 maps and posters that
announced the recent hike for the minimum amount put on pay-per-ride cards from $4.50
to $5.00. The problem? A typographical error that listed the “new” price as $4.50.
Oops! Of course, it will only take 100,000 rides on the 6 train to make up the difference.
So straphangers lose (yet again). Number Ten: Remember the Yellow Pages? Yeah,
well Banner Travel Services would like to forget them. Years ago, the now-shuttered
Sonoma, California-based travel agency decided to market its services in the phone book … only
to find that the final printing advertised its specialization in exotic destinations
as a forte in “erotic” destinations. The typo certainly piqued the interest of some
new customers, just not the kind of clientele the company was hoping to attract. The printer
offered to waive its $230 monthly listing fee, but Banner sued for $10 million anyway. Alright Thank You Another Amazing Video! And
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