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Jerry Mika
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    Born in United States
    Resided in Draper, Utah
    Received a $2,245,342 check from the Utah Department of Commerce (November 2007)
    Received media attention after refusing to cash the check and later returning it (November 2007)
    He expected a $15 refund from the Department of Commerce, but instead received a check for $2,245,342 due to a state employee entering a serial number in the check's amount section instead of the amount owed to Mika.
    When he read the amount, he first thought that the check was legitimate and that he was somehow entitled to the money.
    When he went to government offices for advice regarding the check, two sheriffs and a treasury employee thought Mika's check was legitimate.
    He tried to think of ways that he could legally cash the check, and he also considered depositing it into his account to earn interest before returning it.
    A Department of Commerce official stated that Mika probably could have easily deposited his check due to it being state-issued, despite the large amount.
    He decided to not cash his check, fearing possible legal consequences.
    A Department of Commerce official stated that a new computer system may have overlooked the check amount error, and that the system would be upgraded to help prevent future incidents like Mika's.
    Media attention he received for honesty in returning his erroneous check included interviews by CNN and Ellen DeGeneres.
    Rewards for his honesty included cash gifts, a paid vacation from Ellen DeGeneres to Waikiki, Hawaii and recognition by a humanitarian organization whose past award recipients included Al Gore and Angelina Jolie.
    He was an advocate for the awareness and living condition improvement of the Sherpa people of Nepal.

Credit: Pr31wnb

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