Everyone makes small mistakes on occasion.
Sometimes, that occasion comes millions of times in a row.
It took six months for someone to spot the error: the word RESPONSIBILTY, which we assume was someone’s responsibilty to correct. Oops. While the Reserve Bank of Australia has confirmed that they will correct the error in future print runs, they have also confirmed that the error exists and is, by this point, incredibly widespread. Now, 46 million of these $50 bills are floating around Australia—that’s $2.3 billion. Given that the bill is still valid currency, it’s likely they’ll stay that way.
Whoever’s job it may have been to spot the mistake, that person wasn’t the one who noticed. It was a radio listener who ultimately revealed the error, sending a local station an enlarged photo of the currency. Yes, it does say responsibilty… if you look closely.
Image Via 7 NEWS
What makes the mistake less than small (even if the print was so minute it took a magnifying glass to read) is the particular significance of the $50 note. The bills, which entered circulation in October 2018, display an image of Edith Cowan, the first female member of Australia’s parliament. Behind Cowan’s portrait are many lines of text, a repeated quotation from her first speech in parliament: “It is a great responsibility to be the only woman here, and I want to emphasise the necessity which exists for other women being here.”
Well, as we’ve established, that’s not exactly what it says.
To be fair, the print was far smaller than the mistake. Take a look at this bill, and it will become clear how someone might have missed it. From a picture, it’s hard to tell exactly where Cowan’s speech actually appears. (Hint: from a distance, it looks like grass on the lawn behind Cowan’s head.)
Image Via Tech Spot
Since there’s no way for the RBC to recall each of the erroneous bills (and no serious reason why they would) it’s safe to assume that in the future, this headline will be nothing but a collector’s item. Let’s hope that, as a collector’s item, it’s worth more than the $50 it’s printed on.
Featured Image Via Unilad.