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Mistaken Venmo payment lands Michigan man case of beer worth $3,480

Trevor Harwood checked his phone and saw that he'd mistakenly received a Venmo payment for $3,500. He refunded $3,480 of it, keeping $20 for a case of beer.

IONIA, Mich. — The average case of beer costs anywhere between $15 and $20, depending on the brand. While purchasing, have you ever wondered how much the case may truly be worth?

Probably not.

A man from Ionia, Mi. recently bought a case of Budweiser that ended up being worth $3,480.

On Saturday, July 11, Trevor Harwood was playing a round of golf with his dad at Portland Country Club. The two had made it through the first six holes without much issue.

It was when they reached the 7th hole, things changed.

"I started out not playing very well," said Trevor, 22. "Just before teeing off on the 7th hole, I decided to check my phone.

"On his display, it read, 'Isaac Nowak paid you $3,500.'"

Confused, Trevor called his dad over to check it out to make sure he wasn't reading it incorrectly.

"Needless to say, I couldn't really play golf well after that," Trevor joked.

Trevor says he spent the rest of the round wondering how he knew somebody by the name of Isaac Nowak. 

"I couldn't place him," Trevor said.

The reason why Trevor didn't know Isaac is because the two had never met. Isaac lives in Sandy, Utah, which is just south of Salt Lake City.

"I was in the process of buying a new camper for my family," said Isaac, 25. "We finally found one and went to see this guy whose name was Trevor Harwood."

The 'Utah Trevor' suggested he and Isaac complete the payment for the camper using Venmo, which is a mobile payment service. 

"His email matched the username of the Venmo," said Isaac. "I pushed the button and there went the money."

The pair waited for a few minutes but the cash never transferred to the Utah Trevor.

That's because it was mistakenly sent to the Michigan Trevor.

"It was like instant nausea," said Isaac. 

Isaac says he began messaging the Michigan Trevor, explaining who he was, how the money was transferred by mistake and begged to get it back. Seven hours later, the Michigan Trevor finally responded.

"I decided to kind of make a joke about it," Trevor said. "I told him, 'I'll send it back, but I'm pretty thirsty.'"

Credit: WZZM
Trevor Harwood from Michigan agreed to refund Isaac Nowak's mistaken Venmo payment if he could keep $20 to buy a case of beer.
Credit: WZZM
Trevor Harwood from Michigan agreed to refund Isaac Nowak's mistaken Venmo payment if he could keep $20 to buy a case of beer.

Michigan Trevor was angling to refund the $3,500 if he could keep $20 to buy himself a case of beer.

"I said, 'You can definitely do that," Isaac added. "If we can get the majority of it back, I'd be more than happy to do that."

Credit: Isaac Nowak
Isaac Nowak was in the process of buying this camper in Utah when he mistakenly sent a $3,500 Venmo payment to a man in Michigan.

So, Michigan Trevor Harwood refunded $3,480 to Isaac, who was then able to take the money and finally buy the camper from Utah Trevor Harwood.

Michigan Trevor bought a case of Budweiser beer, and all was well with the world.

"I had to put myself in his shoes," said Trevor. "That's a lot of money. It could have been his life savings or all he had.

"Deep down, I knew that [refunding the money] was the right thing to do."

Isaac knows the transaction could have gone a much different direction, had the money ended up with somebody else.

"He had every right to just keep the money," Isaac said. "The way it ended up means there are good people in the world."

"$3,480 is a lot to pay for a case of beer," joked Isaac. "But in this case, it's worth it."

Since the mistaken transaction was fixed, Michigan Trevor and Isaac have become Facebook friends. Isaac says if he ever makes it to Michigan, he wouldn't mind hanging out and buying him another beer.

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