A Beijing woman in her 80s carelessly scorched her 20,000 yuan (US$2,400) in cash in her microwave oven.
She had been saving the money to help her children in their quest to buy apartments.
Before she left to go out for a walk, she placed the money in a microwave oven thinking potential thieves would not think of opening the microwave oven.
After she got home, however, she forgot about the money in the oven and put some potatoes inside and switched it on. Soon the oven was smouldering and smoke filled the room.
After an appraisal, a bank redeemed 15,500 yuan (US$1,870) of the scorched cash, the Beijing Times reports.