Customers who used the ATM machine at the Bank Leumi branch in Kafr Qara, an Arab town some 22 miles southeast of Haifa, were stunned to realize they were receiving the amount they punched in, except in US dollars, or, based on today’s exchange value, 3.87 times the amount they asked for. News of the unexpected bonanza spread fast and wide and dozens of local residents raided the ATM nook – to each be rewarded handsomely in Uncle Sam issue greenbacks (well, not really greenbacks, as those stopped being issued after the Civil War, but buck nonetheless).
TV journalist Madi Zayed reported the joyous celebration that erupted, as the locals pushed through the waiting line to try their luck with the Bank Leumi Cornucopia. Some hesitated, arguing that in the end their accounts would be charged the full amount anyway, but most just treated the miracle as miracles should be treated – they stuck their cards in the slot and punched the keys.
A local named Ziad was among the first to discover the unusual ATM machine. “I stopped to withdraw 200 shekels to gas up my vehicle at the end of the work day,” he told Zayed. “I entered my card and punched 200, and suddenly I’m getting four $50 bills”
At some point an alarm broke out, the branch manager showed up and called the police. A patrol car arrived and the cops ordered the customers to stay away from the ATM until the manager disabled it. At this point it is still unclear whether the bank would charge its customers the full dollar amount.