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The 3 Most Bizarre Checks Ever Written

Posted by Brandon Weaver | Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

What is the biggest, funniest, weirdest, most historical, most valuable, most bizarre check ever written? 

Check forgery and check fraud only constitute a portion of this category, Frank William Abagnale, Jr. made this popular in the 1960s. Life-sized versions are used for celebrations and contest winners; half-court shots, halftime field goal kickers, and golf tournament winners come to mind. Ever seen Happy Gilmore? He collects them in his car! If you're a sports fan, by now you must be familiar with the Draft Kings' checks.

With that said, here are six checks and one meme that stood out to us for various reasons:

1.  When is an $800 check worth $25,000?

Abraham Lincoln Check

Simple, when it was written by Abraham Lincoln to "self" for $800 in cash the day before he was executed at Ford's Theater by famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth. In the early part of this decade, Huntington Bank's Columbus headquarters found 70 checks in a vault, including checks signed by George Washington, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Thomas Edison, and Abraham Lincoln. Its value in 2012 was estimated to be $25,000. A red line and a green check? Now those are serious banking security measures.

2.  What did it Cost to Join Major League Baseball's American League in 1968?

Kansas City Royals Check

By today's standards, a paltry $100,000, particularly when you compare the $100k to Forbes' estimated value of the franchise in March 2015, at $700 million. The Kansas City Royals joined MLB in 1969 as an expansion franchise along with the Seattle Pilots. The Royals' name originates from the American Royal, a livestock and horse show, rodeo, and barbecue competition held in Kansas City since 1899. As an aside, who can forget George Brett's Pine Tar incident?

3.  Common Core or Math Poor?

Common Core Math Check
One frustrated father in Painesville, Ohio, tired of painful homework sessions learning the Common Core way of doing math, thought he would make his point to school administrators via check. He wrote a check to his child's Elementary School using Common Core "ten-frame" terminology and then posted it online. Needless to say, it went viral. Bonus points if you know how much the check is actually worth.

4. OK... This is Just Wrong, Really, Really Wrong!

Bad Check Writing Meme

5.  $9 billion checkWhen Was the Last Time You Received a Check for $9 billion?

Yes, you read that right. That's a billion, with a "B!"

In 2008, financial services giant Morgan Stanley received this payout from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, out of fear of collapsing. At the time, Morgan Stanley's stock price had reached its lowest level during Columbus Day weekend. Both U.S. and Japanese banks were closed the Monday of this holiday; therefore a wire transfer was not available. Hence the check you see pictured here. Needless to say, Dave Manuel explains, Morgan Stanley had to make the transaction public and "formally announce the deal so they could take pressure off their rapidly declining stock." In the end, Morgan Stanley survived but not without the help from the Bank of Tokyo.

6.  hand-written checkWould You Accept This as Payment?

It is very hard not to burst out laughing at this "check." This is an example of a very poor forgery, and is obviously not a professional document. It does not take Frank Abagnale Jr.'s expertise to tell us that.

First, it is written on binder paper in colored pencil! Second, it has misspellings and the check lines are not straight. Third, it does not specify the recipient because it merely says, "person with this check." Finally, read the memo: "this check is good." Unless merchants and banks rely on the honor system, this check would not be cashed.

7.  video game $1 million winnerWho Says Video Games Don't Pay?

Sports fans and baseball fans in particular understand that pitching a perfect game is one of the toughest and rarest feats to achieve in all of sports. According to, there have only been 22 in major league baseball history.

Video game leader 2K Sports created a challenge in 2010 for gamers to test their skill in being the first to pitch a perfect game with 2K's advanced in-game pitching controls. As the photo shows, Wade McGilberry was the first person to do just that. In fact, as explains, he pitched the perfect game on only his 5th or 6th try and within 24 hours of buying the game! Not only did he receive a cool $1 million from 2K Sports, but was featured in the following year's contest commercial with Roy Halladay. Not a bad day's work for sitting on the couch playing a game.

We understand there are many examples of funny and strange checks that have interesting circumstances, forged or cashed over time. What is the craziest or funniest check you have ever seen? We want to hear from you and encourage you to post the link to any examples you find!

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Written by Brandon Weaver