A university student in South Africa who discovered an erroneous deposit of $1 million in her financial aid account spent more than $60,000 of the fortune before authorities realized the mistake, school officials said.
The oversight occurred at Walter Sisulu University in Eastern Cape province when a massive over allocation of funds was accidentally loaded onto the student’s financial aid debit card.
The money, which was supposed to be a $100 stipend for food and books, was immediately available to the student, according to Intellimali, the company responsible for issuing the student cards. Four extra zeroes were added to the direct deposit.
Several local media outlets identified the student through social media, creating an uproar throughout WSU’s student community. In compliance with South African law, university officials declined to release the student’s personal details but have confirmed she is not responding to media inquiries and has made no official statement at this time.
Intellimali and WSU claim the student spent tens of thousands of dollars in just a few weeks and have begun examining her full transaction records to determine the extent of the spending spree.
The student’s account has since been blocked and the remaining balance has been retracted, WSU spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo said in a statement.