Magic dollar?

The wierdest thing happened to me today. I was just wondering if anything similar had been experienced by others of the teeming millions. Earlier, I wanted a soft drink to go with my lunch (which I was eating at my desk because I’m a lonely-loser-geek). I put a dollar bill into the bill reader of the vending machine. I waited for it to register the bill, which it did, but it spit the bill back out. Thinking that I had been rejected, I smoothed a crease or two and reinserted the bill. More thinking… the bill comes back out. Since it was the only dollar I had, I thought I’d give it one more chance. As I was inserting the bill a third time, I registered that the LEDs on the machine were indicating $2.00. The bill came back a third time and the machine now said $3.00. So, I pressed the button for my selection and voila, out comes my product… plus $2.40 in change.

So I’m thinking, there’s something wrong with the machine. I’m a fairly honest type, so I decide NOT to exploit the machine problem and carry on. Later, I went to a completely different machine to get a bag of trail mix (lunch was wholly unsatisfying). Insert the same dollar… out it comes, but the machine shows that it thinks it has a valid dollar. I press my buttons - I get my product and my change… I looked the dollar over carefully and couldn’t find anything unusual about it. I was feeling kind of thirsty so I decided to get another soft drink, but I wanted a witness. I grabbed a friend who happened to be walking past in the hallway and proceeded to demonstrate the wonderous powers of my magic dollar…

Alas, my good fortune was to come to an end. Not only did the machine claim my magic dollar, it decided not to vend my product either.

So my question is two fold: Has anyone ever heard of anything like this and can anyone explain what might have caused this phenomenon? If it just happened on one machine, I would have simply assumed that it was a software glitch. But to happen on two different machines with the same dollar - that’s piqued my curiosity. Any vending machine experts out there?

Candid Camera maybe???

Darn, I was going to ask to borrow the dollar come rent time. But my landlord probably wouldn’t care for 3,900 quarters.

Simple. I’ll bet it has a tear about 1/3 of the way down one edge. The machine takes it far enough to register, then hits the tear and spits it back out.

The bell boy stole it. You see, the three guys each paid $9 each, after the bell boy gave them each $1 back, and he actually pocketed $4…

Oh…nevermind.

Gunslinger:

Nope. I looked it over pretty thoroughly and there were no tears. Also, I didn’t really make a point of it, but each time I put in the bill, the bill reader took a relatively long time to process (maybe 10 seconds or more) like it was really thinking hard about something…

[QUOTE…each time I put in the bill, the bill reader took a relatively long time to process (maybe 10 seconds or more) like it was really thinking hard about something…
**[/QUOTE]

Maybe it was recording your fingerprints in order to prosecute you for tampering with a vending machine? Of course that would be blatant entrapment, so I doubt that you would end up in the can over it. :smiley:

Back in my college days I stuck a bill in a change machine. The bill was fairly new, but it was pretty wrinkled. The machine took my dollar and gave me four quarters. Then I stuck another bill in. I wasn’t watching what I was doing and accidently stuck it in backward. The machine instantly ejected my bill. But, suddenly the FIRST dollar came popping out, too. Cool.

I tried this a few more times before guilt and shame took over, plus there was a heck of a long line building up behind me. I haven’t tried this since, but it was fun while it lasted.

It was probaby just a coincidence. You are talking about vending machines: mechanical dispensing devices. Any time you work with ANY mechanical device you can expect some sort of mechanical malfunction sometime. In your case, you got a pop machine and a snack machine that both malfunctioned.

I had a similar thing happen to me once when I put in correct change for a candy bar and got 2 candy bars. Later that day, I put in correct change for a can of Coca-Cola, got the pop an still received 35 cents in change.

I’ve also put in my money on vending machines and received nothing on several occasions. It’s just the luck of the draw. You just got extra lucky.

Luck? That is no fun. I wanted it to be magic. Or at least some trick that I could recreate.

I had a magic quarter once. I put it in the vending machine and it came back in the coin return, but it did register as $0.25 credit. I put it back in two more times and it kept returning while registering the credit. I got my candy and left. I used it a couple of more times before the machine finally got tired of playing and kept the quarter. Too bad too because I was hoping to use it to buy a lottery ticket that night. I guess my stomach is my downfall. Like Dragwyr, I think it is just a mechanical glitch of the machine.