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Poll ResultsPoll 696: A shopkeeper hands you what looks like $30 (or £30, 30€, whatever) too much change. How sure do you need to be that you gave them a 20, not a 50, to give the $30 back?
Total votes: 548
This one generated a lot of responses that I didn't expect. Many people wrote by email and on the forums to say that this situation would never arise because they never or almost never possess or use $50/£50/50€ notes. That didn't occur to me, because here in Australia, the $50 note is the most used banknote. ATMs dispense $50s by default, unless you specify a withdrawal total that doesn't divide evenly by 50.
I was inspired by an actual event, just a day before I updated to this poll question. I was buying lunch at a fast food place, and handed over some cash. The server handed back to me $38.50 in change. I stood there staring at it for a few seconds, thinking, "Wait a second. I gave him a $20. Not a $50. Didn't I? Wait... did I even have a $50 in my wallet today? I don't think I did."
Anyway, I was mostly sure that I had given him a $20, not a $50, but not 100% sure. I'd say I was about 80% sure.
What did I do? I spoke, up, said he'd made an error, and gave the extra $30 back.