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Woman visits ATM to withdraw $20. Bank tells her she has a negative balance of $1B.
Photo by Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Woman visits ATM to withdraw $20. Bank tells her she has a negative balance of $1B.

A Florida woman said that she recently visited a Chase Bank ATM to withdraw $20 — but believed her balance was impossibly high at nearly $1 billion.

What are the details?

Julia Yonkowski of Largo, Florida, visited an ATM on Saturday to withdraw the small sum when she found herself agog over her what she believed was her balance: nearly $1 billion.

According to WFLA-TV, Yonkowski said that her bank balance showed $999,985,855.94.

Yonkowski told the station, "Oh, my God, I was horrified. I know most people would think they won the lottery, but I was horrified. When I put in for the $20, the machine came back and said we'll give you the $20 but that'll cause an overdraft and you will be charged and I said, 'Oh just forget it.'"

She knew the balance couldn't be right, so she reached out to the bank only to find out that the institution froze her account after her husband passed away — and that the amount wasn't nearly $1 billion, but nearly a negative $1 billion.

A spokesperson for Chase Bank told the New York Post that the bank posted the massive negative balance "to draw her attention to an issue with her account."

That issue, according to WFLA, was a freeze on her account.

What did the bank say?

The station spoke with a Chase Bank representative on Tuesday, who shed more light on the situation.

"The representative said it wasn't a positive balance, but a negative balance of nearly a billion dollars that was listed," WFLA's Olivia Steen reported. "[The representative] explained it's a fraud prevention method used to freeze an account, which is why Yonkowski couldn't withdraw any money."

"Yonkowski's late husband was a joint owner of the bank account, and it was flagged when she attempted to use it," WFLA's report added. "Chase Bank said people are required to turn in proper documentation in a situation like this to avoid a freeze on a joint bank account."

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