Woman mistakenly gets utility bill for more than $1 billion

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DRAKESBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Have you a received a surprisingly high utility bill? Well, try one for more than a billion dollars. That’s what one Muhlenberg County woman received on her recent bill.

Heather Teddleton says when she got her most recent utility bill, it showed she owed more than a billion dollars on it. She contacted Star 107.3 in Central City, Kentucky after receiving it. But Drakesboro city officials say it was actually a software glitch that caused that amount.

“My water and sewer bill runs about $120 a month,” she said.

But the bill she saw, for what she says was for water, showed her owing more than one point three billion dollars.

“I told my sister and I told her, the only thing she could say was, ‘Oh no! What if you have to pay it?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know because I can’t pay it,'” Teddleton recalled.

She called Drakesboro Mayor Mike Jones after seeing the bill.

“Never seen a mistake that big,” he said.

He also told her the mistake in the bill, which he says was actually for gas, was due to a software error. Mayor jones says the exact cause for the error is unknown, but one possible cause may be related to a meter roll.

“I think the computer system thought we were doing our meter roll, and what that is is when your meter gets to 9999, and you put in a number, if it’s not similar to that number, it thinks the meter has rolled over, so it adds a number to that bill,” he said.

Mayor Jones says the bill is being corrected. Teddleton hopes this error gets others to look closer at their own utility bills.

“You better check your bills and they better be what you are paying because some people would toss it to the side and never pay attention to it,” says Teddleton.

Mayor Jones adds while they’re still trying to figure out what exactly caused that software glitch, they are looking into the problem.

(This story was originally published on February 22, 2021)

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