15 Most Expensive Mistakes Ever Made

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7. Half a Billion in Bitcoin, Lost in the Dump

Half a Billion in Bitcoin, Lost in the Dump

$280 million

If you’ve ever tossed anything away, then regretted it, you can probably empathise with James Howell, though we’re wagering you didn’t lose $280 million, like the Wales native did when he threw out his old hard drive.

After purchasing 7,500 bitcoins in 2009 for next to nothing compared to their subsequent price, Howell dismantled his computer and left the hard drive in a drawer when he spilled a drink on his machine. Three years later, when he was packing up to move house, he discovered the drive – and forgetting the bitcoins were on it, promptly chucked it away in the bin.

When he realised that the price of bitcoins was shooting through the stratosphere and were now valued at an exorbitant $1000 for a single bitcoin, Howell remembered the coins. Checking his backup files proved fruitless, so he approached the owner of the landfill site that his hard drive would have been transported to, hoping to discover it there. We’re sorry to report that Howell was disappointed once again though, as the manager at the site told him that because the drive could be buried 5ft deep – it would be nearly impossible to find.

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