BEIJING - A couple in central China's Hunan province accidentally burned 100,000 yuan (S$21,855) of cash they had hidden in their cooking stove to a crisp after the wife put a kettle of water to boil, Hunan TV reported.
Wang Bin, a labour contractor from Shaoshan, Hunan, contracted a tiling project last year. He borrowed the money from relatives and friends and was preparing to pay his workers after Chinese New Year.
Wang and his wife put the cash into a plastic knitting bag and hid it in their kitchen stove, thinking it a safe place for the stash. However, Wang's wife then put the kettle to boil, having forgotten the hidden treasure in the stove. Most of the notes were reduced to ashes.
According to Chinese banking regulations, there can be no exchange of banknotes when more than half of a note is damaged.
Many Chinese squirreled away cash in every conceivable corner of the house in days before banks became common, including in socks, shoes, pillows and walls, to hide them from thieves.
While today there are hundreds of thousands of bank branches all over China, and even e-banks, some Chinese still prefer to keep their money at home.