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Top 5 Most Expensive Errors

We all make mistakes. From bumbles in the workplace to relationship missteps, human error is everywhere, and when you’re the one who’s to blame, it can sometimes seem like the end of the world. There’s comfort however, to be taken in the fact that things could always be worse. Take these blood-curdling scenarios for example – 5 of the most expensive errors on record:

  1. Woman loses lotto ticket

This could well be the costliest slip-up of all-time on the behalf of just one unlucky individual… One British woman was over the moon in 2010 when she saw her full set of lottery numbers come up in a $181 million EuroMillions draw. Unfortunately for her, her husband had already rashly thrown the ticket away, assuming it wasn’t a winner. There is a silver lining to this sad story: the prize money was ultimately distributed to charitable causes.

  1. NASA + maths error = lost probe!

We’ve all lost something valuable at some point in our lives – a mobile phone or a wallet maybe. But how about a space probe? NASA lost contact with the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter due to a mathematical error – ouch!

  1. Stock market trader’s terrible typo

Everyone makes typos (with the obvious exception of WLC’s editorial staff), but there are some scenarios in which a typing error is simply not permissible – the stock market being one particularly good example! In 2003, Japanese firm J-Com Co. were hoping to sell one share in their company for 610,000 yen, but somehow managed to mix their numbers up and sell 610,000 shares for 1 yen each! This devastating slip-up ended up costing the company $225 million

  1. Space Shuttle Columbia disaster

There’s not a scrap of humour to be found in this error. The economic cost of Space Shuttle Columbia’s break-up over the Southern States in 2003 was estimated at $13 billion. The human toll was far greater.

  1. The Chernobyl disaster

What hath man wrought? The infamous nuclear meltdown of 1986 at Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine has gone down in history as the gravest socio-economic and environmental disaster ever to happen in a time of peace. With an estimated death toll of one million and a cost of $235 billion, this catastrophic error wiped a huge swathe of civilisation off the map.

Amazingly, few intrepid explorers are now returning to Chernobyl – read all about it here.

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