An 80-year-old man attempted to purchase a train ticket using currency that went out of circulation in 1949 in Yongkang, Zhejiang province.
The note was printed in 1943, under the Republic of China, and features the face of the country’s first president, Sun Yat-sen. It hasn’t been legal tender since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
The passenger, surnamed Ying, was reportedly incredulous as to why the ticket seller wouldn’t accept the money for his 12.5-yuan ticket to Lishui, according to the Global Times.
“It’s a 500 yuan bill! Why did the seller refuse to take it?” he said.
The railway employee eventually called police after Ying kept shoving his money at the teller. He apparently was not aware that his 500-yuan note, now something of a collector’s item, could be sold on internet auction sites for over 100 USD—or around 25 round trips between Yongkang and Lishui.
Officers later discovered that Ying, who didn’t travel out of his hometown much, was also carrying a 100-yuan bill with him, this one with Mao’s face on it.
[Image via BBC]