In 2011, a broke Australian bartender found a “miracle” ATM glitch. With it, he managed to withdraw hundreds of thousands of dollars, turning himself into a millionaire. However, even after being arrested, the man says he still doesn’t regret a thing.
Read on to find out all the details of this incredible story…
The ATM Glitch
Back in February 2011, Australia witnessed one of it’s most sensational news stories, filled with controversy. Then, Dan Saunders was a bartender in a local joint in Wangaratta, Australia. One night, after a bar declined his card when he wanted to buy a drink, Saunders went to an ATM machine. He knew he didn’t have much money in his account – in fact, he only had about four dollars. But, he recalled, just for the “sake of it,” Saunders tried withdrawing a $100. And to his astonishment – the machine spat out the money.
And so, the former bartender realized he found a “fountain of money” resulting from an ATM glitch. Saunders went back to that ATM to withdraw money, hoping the glitch would happen again – and it did. Day after day, Saunders found himself able to take out far more cash than his balance allowed. The Ozzy man said, “I think it was a combination of being tipsy and bored, but I just kept doing it again and again, it was like a magic trick. It was very addictive.”
Broke Bartender Turned Millionaire
So how did this insane occurrence keep happening? According to the bank, the machine failed to record this transaction due to the time Saunders withdrew the cash. This apparently did not bother Saunders, who started piling up on cash quickly. Later he discovered another loophole in the ATM system – even though he had only one credit card, he transferred money from the ATM’s “credit” account option to his MasterCard. This way, Saunders could double his money. (We should say, Saunders’ bank let all Australians know: both loopholes are now closed. Sorry!)
Instead of using his money for good, Saunders became addicted to gambling and left his job – which made his girlfriend leave him. Saunders spent his money on limousines, luxury items, and expensive flights. He even hired a private jet one weekend and paid over $90,000 to rent a private island near Bali for him and his friends!
To Saunders’ friends and family, the broke bartender turned rich party boy explained this sudden wealth through a web of lies. For strangers, he created a variety of aliases. Sometimes he was a smart investor in real estate; sometimes a successful poker player; other times, a surgeon. But soon, word spread in his small hometown and rumors flew all over the place. And the rumors would lead to Saunders downfall…
However, as history shows, get-rich-quick schemes, frauds, and money glitches never stay undetected for long. Besides being a conman, Saunders started experiencing anxiety, paranoia, and nightmares in fear he would get caught. So in June 2011, Saunders turned himself in. In 2015, after a lengthy trial, the Australian courts put him behind bars for four years and fined him $250,000.
At the end of 2018, Saunders’ jail sentence came to an end. Now, as a free man, he was asked about his experiences and life decisions. “I was just interested in having a good time, drinking some nice wine and meeting some nice people and just enjoying things really. I felt like a rock star, [and] probably looked like a fat, white Kanye West…” Saunders told Nine Network.“But I have no regrets.”