The way a candy company responded to a man’s sweet gesture has left him more than a little sour.
On Nov. 10, a story about a man named Anouar G. was published in German newspaper Bild. In the article, Anouar recounted a series of events that led him straight to the head honchos of German confectionery company Haribo.
Anouar said that one day after visiting his mother, he was making his way home through the Bürostadt Niederrad light rail station stop in Frankfurt, Germany when something caught his eye. He spotted a little piece of paper flapping in the wind, and it turned out to be a check made out to Haribo — for €4,631,538.80, or a little more than $4.81 million.
The check, from DZ Bank, was issued by German supermarket chain Rewe to Haribo for what must have been more gummy bears than any single man would know what to do with. Still, Anouar did the responsible thing and contacted Haribo.
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When a lawyer for the candy company got back to him, Anouar said he was asked to destroy the check and send photographic proof of it, which he did. A few days later, Haribo sent him a thank you in the mail for helping them out: six bags of Haribo gummies.
“Das fand ich schon etwas billig,” said Anouar to Bild, which translates from German to English as: “I thought it was a bit cheap.”
Haribo keeps its true earnings under gummy lock and key, but Forbes has estimated that the company’s revenues “exceed $3 billion.”
People on social media — mostly from across the pond at this point — were split on whether or not Anouar deserved more from Haribo or not, with some people taking the citric acid route, saying he deserved even less. Sour folks, indeed.
“Yall acting like you can just cash in a 4.7 MILL check and not raise red flags,” tweeted one person.
“So he exchanged a worthless piece of paper (worthless because they would have cancelled the cheque once it was lost) for 6 packs of sweets,” tweeted another. “That’s a decent deal for him.”
Still, some other people on social media prove that not everyone would have done what Anouar did and would have gladly caused a headache for Haribo if they could without a second thought.
“I would’ve walked in the bank n been like ‘I am mr haribo,’” admitted one Twitter user.
“Me walking to my new mansion, buggoti [sic] and woman who only wants me for my money after finessing 4.7 million from Haribo,” tweeted another person, who attached a video of Dexter from "Dexter’s Laboratory" walking around like he owns the place.
Haribo has not responded to TODAY Food's request for comment, but the confectionery company spoke to a reporter at Bild and made a salient, if not discouraging point for Anouar’s gallantry: The check was made out to Haribo, so the company was in no financial danger.
“Since it was a crossed check, nobody but our company could have redeemed it,” reads a translation of what Haribo told Bild about the matter. “It was our standard package that we send as a thank you.”
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