18. Ron Wayne’s Apple shares
You may not recognize Ron Wayne’s name, as he’s often glossed over when telling the story of Apple’s founding. Nevertheless, Wayne – along with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak – was one of the original three founders of the tech giant. Unfortunately for him, though, one of Jobs’ decisions just rubbed him up the wrong way, and so he quit Apple and sold his 10 percent stake in the company back in 1976. At that time, the transaction netted Wayne just $800; if he had just held onto the shares until 2013, however, they would have grown to become worth $35 billion.
17. The fate of the Mars Climate Orbiter
In what may be the most calamitous mathematical mix-up of all time, NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter was lost in 1999. That wasn’t down to the space probe’s mechanical failure, however. Instead, the two teams working on navigating the craft had used two different measurement systems during their calculations – one had gone imperial, the other metric. And the price of such an error? $327.6 million, all wasted. Oops.
16. The Millennium Bridge’s big flaw
To mark the new millennium in London, a brand new bridge was erected over the River Thames – the first of its kind to be opened in over a hundred years. Three days after its debut, however, the Millennium Bridge was closed again. Apparently, the engineers hadn’t accounted for all the people who’d be traveling over the walkway, and so the bridge had started swaying as they passed. And the cost to fix it was $6.6 million – over a third of the eye-watering $24.1 million already spent to create the bridge and put in place.