Couple Hides $16,000 in Oven to Give to Employees, Wife Accidentally Sets It on Fire
How would you break it to your partner that you accidentally caused $16,000 of your family’s cash to go up in flames?
Hao Bin, 35, from the Shaoshan, Hunan province of China, found herself in that very situation after accidentally lighting 100,000 yuan ($16,100) stashed in the couple’s oven on fire.
Her husband, Wang Bin, 39, is the owner of a small construction company and had borrowed the money from relatives and friends in order to pay his workers after the Chinese New Year.
The couple stored the bundles of cash in a plastic bag and then hid it inside their oven.
Mr. Bin said:
“We had not been paid ourselves yet for our work, but I needed to pay the workers so we borrowed the money from friends and family, and we wanted somewhere to keep it safe for a day before paying it out.”
Having forgotten that the money was stored in the oven, Mrs. Bin threw a lit match and some paper inside of it in order to boil some water for tea. After fetching some wood to add to the fire, she realized that the money was ablaze and tried to put it out.
It was too late, however.
When she took the badly burned cash to her local Bank of China, she was told she couldn’t exchange the damaged currency for new ones since their policy states that notes with less than physically half remaining cannot be accepted.
While upset by the loss, Mr. Bin proved compassionate. He said:
“It was a hard blow, and my wife is devastated. But I have forgiven her, and we will survive.”
The practice of hiding money inside every nook and corner of a house to avoid theft was commonplace in China before the banking industry took off in the country. Many Chinese citizens, lacking trust in the banking system, still store their money inside their homes today.