London: Any time double money! An ATM here started paying twice the amount asked for, due to a human error, and hordes of people benefited from the unexpected windfall till it lasted.
There was a run on a cash machine in central London when it started paying out double money after an employee accidentally loaded the 10 pound tray with 20 pound notes.
Long queues formed outside the Sainsbury`s ATM in Tottenham Court Road as word of the unexpected windfall spread like wildfire.
Some customers walked away hundreds of pounds better off after withdrawing the maximum of 300 pounds on multiple cards and getting the same amount again each time for free.
It`s not the first time a "double-your-money" error has occurred at cash machines and on previous occasions some banks have chosen to write off the losses rather than pursue a large number of claims.
One office worker, who did not wish to be named, said he became aware of the blunder when he went to get cash out at lunchtime yesterday.
"I realised the machine was paying double, so I queued up again and withdrew even more," he was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, after benefiting 200 pounds of free cash from the mistake.
"I checked my statement online and it was only showing the amount we had asked for, not what was paid out. It was the best thing in the world," he added.
The error occurred when an employee loaded the 10 pounds tray with 20 pounds notes by mistake.
The cash machine was finally closed down when a customer reported the problem to the supermarket.
"We`re only human, so on very rare occasions ATMs can be loaded with the incorrect cash which means a few lucky customers get more than they bargained for," a spokeswoman for Sainsbury`s said.
"We`d like to thank our customers for letting the store know and we have turned the machine off while we investigate the matter," she added.
It was not revealed how much money had been lost or how many people had taken out cash.
She also could not confirm whether customers would be pursued for the money, but on previous occasions banks have said customers are not liable when errors of this nature occurred.
Last month, hundreds of villagers in Milford-on-Sea in Hampshire enjoyed the same unexpected windfall after an HSBC cash machine experienced a similar glitch.