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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 02:37 GMT
Mad rush to faulty ATM in France
A person withdraws 50-euro notes from a cash machine in France. File photo
It is unclear how much the ATM overpaid in total
Christmas came early for residents of a French town, as a cash machine started issuing 50-euro notes instead of 20s.

Dozens of people in Carvin, near the northern city of Lille, rushed to withdraw money from the ATM over the two-hour faulty period on Tuesday.

But their joy was short-lived as a bank found out about the error, asking for the difference to be reimbursed.

The Caisse d'Epargne bank later said 50-euro notes were wrongly put in the ATM's slot meant for 20-euro notes.

"With bank cards, we have the ability to track all of the clients by computer," bank spokesman Gonzague Mannessiez told the AFP news agency.

A local resident said earlier the ATM malfunctioning had caused "euphoria" in the town, with some 50 people queuing up at one point to get easy money.

Police eventually sealed off the area near the cash machine.

It is unclear how much the ATM has overpaid in total.

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