Parenthood
Parents discover toddler shredded $1000 they had saved to pay for a debt
After finally saving enough to pay back their debt, this couple couldn't find their envelope of cash anywhere. And then they checked the shredder...
Naomi Lai
04.24.20

Season football tickets are famous for being expensive. They’re something only the most dedicated of fans (or the richest of people) tend to buy.

Ben Belnap is a big football fan from Holladay, Utah. He dreamed of season tickets to support his favorite team, the University of Utah, but the price tag was daunting.

As young parents of a toddler, he and his wife didn’t have much spare money for luxury items like season tickets.

Posted by Benjamin Billy Belnap onThursday, September 15, 2016

But his parents generously lent him the money so that they could both support their favorite team.

They were so thankful for the gift, but wanted to pay Ben’s parents back as soon as they could.

So the couple started saving money, tucking cash away bit by bit in an envelope until they had enough to cover the full amount.

After finally saving up what they needed, they put the envelope with $1,060 aside, ready and waiting until the next time they met up with Ben’s parents.

Flickr/eFile989
Source:
Flickr/eFile989

But on the day they were going to see Ben’s mother, they went to get their envelope, and couldn’t find it anywhere.

They looked all over the house, checking every room, drawer, and surface, turning up couch cushions, checking every corner of their home and hoping to solve the mystery.

Eventually, out of ideas, Jackee looked in the last place she thought it could possibly be. Where she dreaded it would be – the shredder.

Flickr/yoppy
Source:
Flickr/yoppy

Low and behold, there it was. Or, there it used to be.

Their 2 year old son, Leo, had gotten ahold of the envelope and fed it into the shredder.

The money was gone – literally in pieces.

After sharing what happened on Twitter, their story went viral.

People couldn’t believe their bad luck, and offered their condolences.

Some people took a slightly different route and made jokes to cheer them up.

MMGOLFSTUDIOS
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MMGOLFSTUDIOS

(I think.)

Twitter,LexPnyc
Source:
Twitter,LexPnyc

(I hope.)

Twitter, davidstehle
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Twitter, davidstehle

The tweet even made its way to the team at Budweiser, who reached out to offer Ben some Utah game day tickets!

Twitter, Budweiserusa
Source:
Twitter, Budweiserusa

Many advised him that the US treasury might be able to recover the amount, or at least some of it.

And it’s true! This is great information for anyone with a toddler, a shredder, or, as we’ve learned, both.

Damaged U.S. currency isn’t a lost cause.

The Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) offer something called the Mutilated Currency Redemption Service.

So, they can exchange destroyed bills for new ones if the damage fits a certain criteria. For one, more than half the bill needs to be identifiable as as U.S. currency.

Unsplash/JPValery
Source:
Unsplash/JPValery

Another stipulation is that security features, like the serial number, have to be distinguishable.

So what does this mean for Ben and Jackee? It’s unclear.

They’ve taken the advice of their helpful Twitter followers and reached out to the U.S. Treasury to share their story.

Twitter, Benbelnap
Source:
Twitter, Benbelnap

It will take somewhere between six months and three years, but the Treasury seem to think that at least some of the shredded amount will be salvageable.

In the meantime, I’m sure Ben and Jackee will be hiding their envelopes a lot higher and out of the hands of their toddler. Or taking the money straight to the bank!

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By Naomi Lai
hi@sbly.com
Naomi Lai is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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