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Strange sight: Fake money flies around Maryland highway

Fake money flew around a Maryland highway

Drivers in Charles County, Maryland, were treated to an odd sight Friday morning: What looked like a large amount of money flying around the middle of a busy roadway in Waldorf 鈥 and it ended up sparking several calls to authorities.

The reporters in the WTOP Traffic Center are used to calls from drivers reporting all kinds of road conditions. But even they were a bit mystified.

“Here is something you don’t hear very much,” WTOP Traffic Reporter Reada Kessler prefaced her report shortly after 8:45 a.m. describing the situation on Mattawoman Beantown Road in the area of Route 5. “There is money blowing around.”

But no, it wasn’t the latest Mega Millions jackpot.

“It is fake money,” Kessler reported. “Do not get out of your car.”

The sight had apparently caused a bit of a scene, with plenty of rubbernecking 鈥 and even some drivers pulling over to the side of the road and pulling U-turns to get a closer look at what they thought could be an extra payday.

“It’s basically mayhem there, because people think it is actual, real money blowing around,” Kessler said during her next traffic report.

“I have so many questions,” WTOP anchor John Aaron said. “Who drives around with a bunch of fake money and then loses it?”

Added Kessler, “I’m expecting it show up on some prank show where they’re throwing fake money to see how people react.”

The mystery appeared to be solved after another driver called the WTOP Traffic Center and reported seeing the money fly out of the back of a home junk-removal truck.

A look at the fake $5 bill shared by a driver with the WTOP Traffic Center.

A driver who pulled over to snag one of the bills shared a picture with WTOP. It shows a fake $5 bill with the words “NOT LEGAL TENDER FOR EDUCATIONAL USE ONLY” printed on the front. It is produced by a company called Lakeshore Learning Materials.

Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, said authorities received several calls Friday morning about the cash floating around the roadway. An officer was sent to the scene and was able to retrieve some of the fake cash, and the Maryland State Highway Administration was also notified.

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Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016.聽Previous to his聽current role,聽he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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