Utah may not have a lottery, but Richard and Sharon Mears became instant millionaires Saturday.
By Monday, the money was gone.Sharon Mears went to the bank Saturday to deposit $285.23. She didn't stop to take a good look at the receipt until she got home. When she did, she saw the bank had deposited a few extra million into her account: $12,500,285.23, to be exact.
"I looked at that and I said, `My goodness,' " Sharon Mears said.
The Sandy couple knew their good fortune was short-lived. They also knew the bank wouldn't process the deposit until Monday.
"We took the receipt to church with us and had a ball with it," Mears said. "You know, we gave our relatives new homes and new cars."
They also teased their LDS bishop about how to handle their tithing obligation. He told them they could write a check.
By Monday afternoon, when the Mearses called the bank to turn themselves in, they had begun to realize how a mega-windfall like that could change their lives - and not always for the better.
"You'd have relatives you didn't even know you had," Sharon Mears said. "Maybe having the money wouldn't be as much fun as it seems it would be."
And the bank? "They were really embarassed. We asked if they could give us a 1 percent finders fee," she said. "I would just love it if it happened to appear on the statement."
- By Patty Henetz
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I can't understand how reasonable men and women could come to this kind of conclusion. I feel if Deli doesn't deserve a first-degree murder charge, then nobody does." - Barbara Noriega, daughter and sister of two women killed last Christmas by Von L. Taylor and Edward Deli, the latter of whom was convicted of 2nd-degree murder Tuesday. (See story on Page A1.)
Those with information for this column are invited to call JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, Douglas D. Palmer or Chuck Gates at the Deseret News, 237-2100.