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Man Puts Hope in Counterfeit Money

Have you ever had high hopes for something and then seen those hopes crumble to pieces? It happened to one man in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His story hit the news wires as one of those sadly humorous, stupid-thief tales. Actually, if you knew him, his story is probably only very sad.

He wanted money. Maybe he desperately needed money. Perhaps he had a substance addiction or owed tens of thousands of dollars on a charge card. Regardless, somehow he got the idea to go into a grocery store, hand the checkout clerk counterfeit money, and ask for change. If it worked, he would get real money in exchange for fake money. Brilliant!

He was a big thinker. If he was going to risk attempting this fraud, he was going to do it in a way that would set him up for life. So he decided to try to pass off not a counterfeit $100 bill, not a counterfeit $1,000 bill, not even a counterfeit $10,000 bill, but a counterfeit $1,000,000 bill.

Again, you can pat this poor fellow on the back for thinking big, but you also have to pity him for thinking badly. First, you have to suspect that the average checkout clerk doesn't keep a million dollars in her drawer. Second, you have to think that a one million dollar bill is going to attract some extra attention and might even bring the scrutiny of the store manager. Third—this is the clincher—there is no such thing as a $1,000,000 bill. The largest currency printed in the U.S. is a $100 bill!

When the counterfeiter walked into the supermarket on that Saturday in Pittsburgh, holding that one million dollar bill in his sweaty hand, just imagine his soaring hopes. Soon he would be able to pay his bills, buy a nice house and car, get all the things he had always wanted, never work another day in his life. This would be his lucky day!

Needless to say, his high hopes were dashed. The checkout clerk refused to give him change for his bogus bill. The manager came and confiscated the forgery. His dreams went up in smoke. He got angry. He grabbed the electronic funds transfer machine and slammed it on the counter. He tried to grab the scanning gun used to read product labels. Soon the police had him in custody.

It's a sad, sad thing when a person's high hopes come to nothing. How do you know when your hopes are resting on something true and legitimate and real, instead of on something bogus and stupid? Where do you place your hope?

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