A Sydney man who hid $15,000 in cash in his oven was left with a colourful melted mess after his wife turned it on.
The Merrylands father-of-two, who did not want to be identified out of embarrassment, sold his beloved Toyota Supra sports car for $15,000 on Saturday afternoon and stashed the wads of notes in his kitchen oven.
He said he believed the cash would be safe in the oven because his wife never used it.
It was a decision he regretted yesterday after his wife struggled to tell him the money had literally gone up in smoke.
She had turned on the oven to pre-heat some chicken nuggets for their two girls and inadvertently cooked the cash.
"It was everything I had," he told ninemsn.
"I've got nothing to my name. That money was supposed to go towards my mortgage. I had a call from Westpac on Tuesday asking me when I would pay because I missed a payment on Monday."
"I told them 'I'll pay tomorrow' but then the money was burnt'."
His distraught wife said she "couldn't stop crying" when she told her husband what had happened.
"I struggled to breathe, I said 'I burnt the money, I burnt the money'. I felt like I was going to faint," she said.
He said he was forced to sell his sports car to pay bills because the slow-down in the building industry had affected his metal roofing business.
"After a while it started to sink in, you've got kids, a mortgage, a family car to run and I'm thinking what am I going to do," he said.
To make matters worse, the family's water was cut off today after failing to pay their bill.
After discovering his cash had been burnt he immediately set off to his bank in an attempt to deposit the money but the teller at Merrylands' Westpac branch refused to accept the cash.
"I was quite insulted. I asked her to send it to the RBA, I told her 'please it's all I got' but she didn't want to," he said.
After being contacted by ninemsn today, a spokesman for Westpac Merrylands offered an apology and said "we will do whatever we can do within the guidelines" to help him.
The Reserve Bank of Australia has a clear policy on damaged and incomplete banknotes and advises people to take their damaged notes to banks.
"If several pieces of the same banknote are presented, the Reserve Bank's policy is for each piece to be worth a share of the value in proportion to its size," the RBA policy reads.
"The combined value paid should be the face value of the original banknote."
If less than 20 percent of the note is missing full face value is paid but if between 20-80 percent of the note is missing value is paid in proportion with the percentage remaining.
If more than 80 percent of the banknote is missing no payment is made.
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