Horomanski, from Erie, Pa., was shocked recently when she received an erroneous electric bill displaying an account balance of “284,460,000,000,” with a first payment due of $28,176.
Horomanski, 58, began counting the commas (“Hundreds. Thousands. Millions. Billions. . . . Can most people even count that high?”), then taking her glasses off and putting them on again.
“It wasn’t due until November of 2018,” she said. “It was like, well, I guess we have a year to come up with this billion-dollar bill.”
Horomanski’s husband and one of her sons were home with her when she checked her bill online, and they began asking whether she was okay.
Horomanski texted an image of the bill to her oldest son, who immediately contacted Penelec, their electric company.
The company quickly assured him it was an error, Horomanski said.
The correct amount was $284.46 — still a little high, to be honest, compared to the previous month’s bill of $161, Horomanski thought. But at least not a figure that threatened to send her into cardiac arrest.
With $284 billion you could own all of Netflix. Or purchase 747 Boeing 747s, with change to spare. Or erase the national debts of Venezuela, Nigeria, Peru and Iceland, combined.
Let me ask, what can you buy with $284 billion?