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Man accused of trying to buy microwave with $1 million bill

A man allegedly walks into a Wal-Mart and tries to buy a microwave, a vacuum cleaner and other items in return for a $1 million bill. But how easy is it to secure a $1 million bill?

We all seek solutions to our financial issues.

Some turn out to be imperfect. Take this one, tried recently by a gentleman who allegedly walked into a Wal-Mart in Lexington, N.C., in order to buy a microwave, a vacuum cleaner, and other unspecified items.

You see, his inventive notion was to proffer a $1 million bill and claim that it was perfectly legal tender.

The way the Winston-Salem Journal has it, Michael Anthony Fuller, 53 was merely being asked to pay $476 for his electronic and other items.

CC Monochrome/Flickr

Presumably, he imagined that he would received $999,524 in change from the Wal-Mart cashier, though it would be hard to imagine that any Wal-Mart cashier would have quite that much in the till.

The cashier was impressively unprepared to believe that the $1 million bill was real. Which has led to Fuller being reportedly charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument.

Who among us has never uttered a forged instrument? And it's not as if the very concept of offering a $1 million bill is entirely insane. Surely this is what Wall Street folks do at Best Buy all the time. It's just that Wall Street folks somehow never get sent to jail.

How easily, though, might Fuller have got hold of a $1 million bill? The story offers no suggestions. Yes, he might have made it himself. But is it possible that he made an investment somewhere online in order to touch perfect financial security, perhaps for the first time in his life?

I tried to find out. On eBay, you can definitely find a "CLASSIC ONE MILLION DOLLAR BILL Money PLUS HOLDER."

You only need to look a little deeper to discover the $1 million "Pirate" bill-- something many of us might need, should we all be cast out to sea after one more great depression.

However, when you drift away from eBay, you discover This site offers "Million Dollar Bills and Billion Dollar Bills as novelty items for promotion, marketing, profit, and fun!"

Yes, billion dollar bills. For fun!

This is the offering from Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

In order to entice you, the Web site owners say they don't print their Web site or phone number on the bills. They boast that these million-dollar bills "have the similar size, feel, and look of the real thing!" And you even have the option of "traditional" and "new" styles.

Naturally, this site is not the only one trying to cover the million-dollar bill market. For here's My Million, which lures you with--are you prepared?--free samples.

Then there's Million Dollar Source. Now these folks declare that should you present one of their bills to someone "they usually ask you questions about it."

Perhaps, then, this was one of the bills that was used, as Fuller appears to be have been asked some questions.

Some might imagine, though, that the issue is greed. Given that the highest denomination bill is currently $100, might it not be more likely that, say, a $1,000 bill would impress? If that works, perhaps a progression to--at the most--a $5,000 bill might fool someone.

There's really no point going fooling people with millions. Unless you're chatting with a Silicon Valley VC, perhaps.