IRS Makes $400K Mistake

Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 10:41am

Ginny Hopkins got the surprise of her life this week when an enormous income tax refund check arrived.

The longtime Cleveland, Ohio waitress was supposed to receive $754, money she really needs to fix her car, among other things.

What she found in her mailbox was a check for $434,712.

"I have many best friends now, let me tell you," Ginny smiled, as she made her way from table to table at Johnny's Downtown, where she has worked for almost 20 years.

Those best friends have been giving Ginny advice since the monster check arrived on Tuesday.

"Some say cash it, and some say don't," she said.

The congenial waitress was aware that cashing the check could get her in a whole lot of trouble.

"They'll put me in Alactraz," she said, "waiting on the night shift at Alcatraz. They'll reopen the place."

Then her thoughts turned to a more inviting location.

"For years I've wanted to go to Hawaii and my whole family, too," Ginny mused, as she thought about what could be done with the money if it were really hers.

"We'd go to Hawaii, yes," she finally decided, "and maybe Rio for the Mardi Gras. Would you believe I had my first vacation in 23 years last October?"

Hopkins knew her dreaming would be short-lived, and by Wednesday afternoon had made arrangements to return the check to the IRS office the federal building downtown.

"It made a great story, didn't it," Ginny concluded. "We'll get many miles and many years out of this story of Grandma being queen for a day, rich for a day."  

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