Consumers Get $23 Quadrillion Credit Card Bill Because of Visa Glitch

A New Hampshire man was shocked to learn that when he purchased pack of cigarettes he also got charged $23,148,855,308,184,500, or more than $23 quadrillion — a number that rivals that of the national debt.

Josh Muszynski swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and a few hours later noticed the exorbitant charge when he checked his account on the Internet, WMUR-TV reported.

"I thought my card had been compromised. I thought somebody had bought Europe with my credit card," Muszynski told the station. "It was very concerning."

Muszynski told WMUR-TV that he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers — and the $15 overdraft fee — but the company couldn't explain what exactly happened.

"She just tried to assure me that everything would be fixed, and I couldn't see something like that being fixed," Muszynski said.

The bank corrected the error the next day.

Bank of America said the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa, in turn, referred questions to the bank.

Muszynski is not alone.

An unidentified teenager was reportedly charged the same amount at CVS, according to

The girl's mother told the Web site that the charge showed up on her Visa Buxx debit card, and when she called the company, they told her there was a "system problem."

Two more cases of the $23 quadrillion charge showing up on credit card statements for packs of cigarettes have been reported in Memphis, Tenn., and in Texas.

Jason Bryant bought a pack of Pall Malls at a Memphis Exxon and was flabbergasted to see how much he was charged.

"I paid for the deficit multiple times over," he told WREG-TV in Memphis.

And a North Texas man got the same charge on his bill when he went to Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck.

"For that amount of money, I could actually own Wolfgang Puck himself," joked Jon Seale, according to

Visa said it was a glitch that only affected some customers with prepaid cards, according to the Web site.

"A temporary programming error at Visa Debit Processing Services caused some transactions to be inaccurately posted to a small number of Visa prepaid accounts," Visa spokeswoman Elvira Swanson said in a written statement. "The technical glitch has been corrected, and all erroneous postings have been removed.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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