• Amazon Typo Breaks Internet, damage $150 million. On the last day of February, 2017, a member of Amazon’s  Simple Storage Service (S3) team mistyped a command while trying to debug a slow billing system. The typo shut down Amazon Web Services (AWS), which hosts 40% of cloud services, for three hours. The server took a further four hours to recover fully. The Wall Street Journal cited Cyence, Inc.’s report that the outage “cost companies in the S&P 500 index $150 million.”
  • World’s Most Expensive Comma, damage estimate $2.13 million. In 2006, a Canadian telephone company entered into a five-year contract to provide services to the local cable company. The cable company believed the agreement would stand for five years; the telephone company claimed it could cancel and renegotiate any time after one year. The dispute came down to a single comma in the contract. The telecommunications commission ruled in favor of the telephone company, basing its decision on the rules of punctuation. The result was a very costly contract renegotiation after one year.
  • Wicked Bible, damage £300 and more. In 1631 a London publisher was commissioned for a seventh printing of the Bible. Unfortunately, the typesetter omitted the word “not” in the Ten Commandments, stating that “Thou shalt commit adultery.” All copies were destroyed (value undetermined), the publisher fined £300, and most likely the typesetter lost his job!
  • Missing P, damage $502,996. A novice collector offered on Ebay an Allsop 150-year-old beer at $304 for the single bottle. One bidder, recognizing the rare ale as Allsopp (with second p), purchased and resold the bottle for $503,300.
  • Securities Bargain, damage $340 million. In 2005 a Japanese securities brokerage offered shares of a new company at 610,000 yen per share. A year later the brokerage erroneously offered 610,000 shares at one yen per share! When the Tokyo Stock Exchange refused to reverse the error, the typo cost equaled $340 million in US dollars.
  • NASA Explosion, damage $80 million and a red face. In 1962 Mariner 1 was sent into space to gather scientific data. Reports vary, but essentially a missing hyphen in the programmed computer instructions resulted in the explosion of the unmanned spacecraft less than five minutes after launch. The costly typo was not only a major financial loss, but also a serious embarrassment for the NASA program.
  • Winning Tickets, damage $250,000, potentially $50 million. A New Mexico automobile dealership in 2007 offered scratch tickets to promote sales. Only one of the 50,000 tickets was scheduled to offer a $1000 cash prize. However, the printer typo resulted in every ticket a prize winner! The dealership could not afford the potential $50 million debt and offered instead a $5 Walmart gift card to the winning tickets.
  • NYC MTA Goof, damage estimate $500,000. In 2013 NYC published maps and posters announcing a transportation rate hike from $4.50 to $5.00. Unfortunately, the new price read $4.50! The typo cost NYC an estimated $500,000 for the recall of maps and posters and the loss of revenue for the rides.
  • Racial Pasta, damage $20,000. In 2010 an Australian publisher erred when printing a recipe book of pasta dishes. One particular dish, according to the recipe, could be seasoned by adding “salt and freshly ground black people.” Reported loss for the typo was $20,000 for the destroyed copies.
  • What a Party, damage potential $10 million. A California travel agency in 1988 contracted for Yellow Page advertising for exotic vacations. The typo offering “erotic” vacations brought new customers alright, but the wrong kind! The agency sued for $10 million, settlement unknown. However, the phone company waived the $230 monthly fee!