Never keep anything made of paper where a toddler can gain access to it — especially if the paper is valuable. That’s a lesson that a Utah man learned after he put an envelope containing $1,000 in cash in a place where his toddler could find it. And if you’ve read the title of this article, you already know what happened to that money.
As KETK-TV (Tyler, Texas) reports, Ben Benlap and his wife, Jackee, are huge fans of the Utah Utes college football team. So much so that they bummed a thousand bucks from Ben’s parents to buy season tickets. After scrimping and saving, the couple had enough to pay back Ben’s parents, so they put the money in an envelope and then set it aside so they could give them the money the next time that they saw each other.
Last weekend, however, the envelope was gone. The couple tore the house apart looking for it. Eventually, says Ben, they found it in the worst possible place: the shredder. It seems the couple’s toddler son, “Leo” — whose name has not been revealed — had seen his parents putting envelopes in the machine and figured that he’d do the same
“I’m digging through the trash and [Jackee] hollers and says, ‘I found it.’ She’s holding the shredder and she says, ‘I think the money is in here.’ We started laughing. We were just baffled that this could happen.”
Jackee, for her part, says that she felt a range of emotions when she found the shredded money.
A lot of unanswered questions remain about this story, however. For example, was the money in hundreds? Twenties? A mix of various denominations? And what about the shredder itself? Was it a simpler model that just cuts paper into strips? Or was it a more advanced model that obliterates whatever goes through it?
Probably the former, as it turns out: reports say that the couple may be able to get their money back through a federal program that helps replace mutilated money.
In fact, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing says on its website that mutilated currency could potentially be redeemed — depending on how badly it was mutilated. Long story short: if the bills have enough “identifying” features, such as security numbers — and if more than 50 percent of them are present, as determined by an expert — the money will probably be replaced.
Hopefully Mr. and Mrs. Benlap have started that process — explained to little “Leo” that he is not to touch the shredder anymore.
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