With tax season in full swing, it’s nice to see a whole bunch of people — 10,000 to be exact — receiving some good, if mistaken, financial news. And it’s all thanks to information technology.

About 10,000 Swedes got a surprise payout recently when a computer error caused the government to

give out almost $175 million too much in savings returns. That’s a lot of Ikea armchairs.

According to news reports, debt office officials urged people to give back the money or face legal action. Which begs the question: Whatever happened to the old “”finders keepers, losers weepers”” approach?

The national debt office, which functions as the central government’s treasury, was paying out returns on a long-term savings fund, when a malfunctioning computer repeated a 500 million kronor transfer twice. Hence, about 10,000 Swedes received three times the amount they were supposed to get in their bank account.

Apparently, letters were sent to all 10,000 customers informing them of the error and telling them they had to return the extra money within a week. The mishap was reportedly costing the debt office about $9,000 a day in lost interest, as well as the cost of the extra work needed to get the money back.

The question is: If you can afford to accidentally lose $175-million, why not just let it go? And send some our way…

The e-prom

High schools across Canada will soon be taking part in that annual rite of passage: The prom. And for those unlucky teens who don’t yet have a date, there is an on-line resource that may be able to help: eBay.com. According to news reports, Stu Hemesath, a high school senior from La Porte City, Iowa, recently auctioned himself off for $29.95 (U.S.) as a prom date.

The lucky lady is Rachel Kay, 17, who will be escorted by Hemesath to her Cedar Falls, Iowa, prom.

Apparently the two have never met. Hemesath posted pictures of himself and a description to secure some bids, which came from people as far away as Alaska.

It’s safe to say that those Alaskans are some desperate prom-date seekers.

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