Who's up for a little reward without the risk? That's exactly what one community bank is serving up with a recent ATM promotion.
Easthampton Savings Bank is promoting its new Loan and Banking Center in the western Massachusetts city by letting the ATM there go wild. The machine will spontaneously give customers $50 bills instead of the typical $20 bills through Sept. 10, according to a local blogger. While the malfunction is intentional, the rumor of free cash may very well cause a frenzy in an area that's already caught the gambling bug.
This isn't the first time an ATM has given out extra cash. Last month, crowds gathered around an ATM in Ipswich, England, after a rumor that the machine was giving out free money -- accidentally -- quickly spread. And back in 2009, Michigan resident Ronald Page took Bank of America for a ride after several casino ATMs allowed him to withdraw unlimited funds, to the tune of $1.5 million. Page chose to risk his newfound money and subsequently gambled it all away, before being indicted for stealing bank funds.
Unlimited access to cash isn't so unthinkable, at least for some. An innovative Tampa strip club has a "Make It Rain Machine" that allows customers, both on-location and remote, to shower dancers with up to $2,000 in dollar bills from an ATM-like dispenser located on the club's ceiling. In May, photo evidence of some serious rich-kid behavior surfaced on Twitter, when NBA star DeShawn Stevenson posed in his kitchen with an ATM installed in the background.
While the convenience of such a cash portal isn't arguable, an in-home ATM doesn't come cheap. TMZ reported that Stevenson charges his buddies a hefty $4.50 transaction fee for withdrawals.
(Hat tip: Consumerist.)
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<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Australia was the first country in the world to have a <a href="http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/currency.html/" target="_hplink">complete set of banknotes made from plastic</a>, which helps protect from counterfeiting and general wear.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Egyptian notes are different shapes and sizes based on the denomination and include <a href="http://www.cbe.org.eg/1historical_review_for_currency.htm" target="_hplink">watermarks and metallic threads</a> for enhanced security. <em>Clarification: An original version of this slide said that Egypt had no specified currency until 1834. In fact, in 1834 the Egyptian Pound <a href="http://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Egyptian+Pound">became the currency of Egypt</a>, replacing the piastre.</em>
French Polynesian Franc
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> The colorful, floral notes of French Polynesia feature <a href="http://www.dirjournal.com/info/cool-money-collection-from-around-the-world/" target="_hplink">depictions of the land and the native people</a>.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>The Maldives, made up of over 1,100 islands in the Indian Ocean, exchange colorful rufiyaa as currency. Each banknote depicts a <a href="http://www.mma.gov.mv/cic.php" target="_hplink">bunch of coconuts and the traditional Dhivehi Odi</a>, a type of boat used for inter-island transport.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Each brightly-hued Swiss Franc includes two stunning <a href="http://www.snb.ch/en/iabout/cash" target="_hplink">portraits of various cultural icons</a>. Security features include a "tilt effect" which allows the note's denomination to only be seen at an unusual angle.
Hong Kong Dollar
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> Hong Kong's currency includes colorful paper and polymer notes. The notes include <a href="http://www.hkma.gov.hk/eng/key-functions/monetary-stability/notes-coins-hong-kong/notes.shtml" target="_hplink">eight security features</a>, most of which are visible to the naked eye.
South African Rand
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> South African banknotes feature the <a href="http://www.resbank.co.za/BanknotesandCoin/Pages/BanknotesAndCoin-Home.aspx" target="_hplink">"big five" animals of the country</a>, which include the lion and elephant.
<strong>FUN FACT:</strong> The lempira note from Honduras is <a href="http://www.honduras.com/lempira/#.UCltR2Oe7DU" target="_hplink">named after a 16th century ruler</a> that led the resistance against Spanish conquistadors.
New Zealand Dollar
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>New Zealand has also adopted the <a href="http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/currency/" target="_hplink">use of polymer notes</a> and recently redesigned all of its notes to reflect distinct cultural aspects of the country. The $10 note (pictured) includes an image of the endangered blue duck.
<strong>FUN FACT: </strong>Canada is the latest country to <a href="http://www.bankofcanada.ca/banknotes/" target="_hplink">begin issuing polymer notes</a>. Unfortunately, <a href="http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1225532--plastic-bills-quick-spend-them-before-they-melt" target="_hplink" target="_hplink">according to</a> the <em>Toronto Star</em>, the bills shrink under extreme heat.