As many people do, Pennsylvania mom Mary Horomanski strung up lights outside her home in preparation for the holidays.
But when the 58-year-old checked her electric bill earlier this month, she started to regret her decision.
According to the Erie Times-News, Horomanski was horrified when she was billed $284 billion by Penelec, her electric company. The Erie resident said:
My eyes just about popped out of my head. We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong.
The furious mom posted a screenshot to Facebook, asking if the company’s rates had increased and wrote that she’d maybe be able to pay it off in “a hundred years.”
However, the due date listed on the bill for the outrageous amount was Nov. 22, 2018.
Horomanski’s son quickly contacted Penelec about the bill, before his mom tried to make the first $28,156 payment this month.
And thankfully, the electric company admitted that they’d made a mistake — the bill was actually supposed to be $284.46.
Mark Durbin, a spokesperson for Penelec, guessed that it was a simple case of a misplaced decimal point. He said he’d never seen an electric bill that high for a customer before, according to UPI:
I can’t recall ever seeing a bill for billions of dollars. We appreciate the customer’s willingness to reach out to us about the mistake.
The company quickly corrected Horomanski’s bill after realizing its mistake, but the incident made the mom change her mind about what she wanted from her son for Christmas.
The 58-year-old told the Erie Times-News:
I told him I want a heart monitor.
According to The Washington Post, it’s common for holiday lights to marginally increase your average electric bill. But if the number appears to be larger than the GDP of your home state — it’s probably best to give your electric company a quick call.
Luckily, this mom caught the mistake before it left a big hole in her holiday budget.