Lieberman, a former neuroscientist, speculated on how a person might make such a bad decision. The same part of the brain that gives us a rush when, say, we win a hand of cards, kicks in when we confront a scenario like unexpected money, Lieberman suggested.
The limbic system is like the rewards circuitry. "There's a lot of dopamine signaling ... your heart rate goes up, your pupils dilate, you start sweating. That's when you make bad decisions. A lot of this is evolutionary response."
The pre-frontal cortex, which controls reasoning and judgment, is one of the last parts of the brain to fully develop.
"It takes training and learning and life experience" to not let that quick rush override your judgment, said Lieberman. "I'm fortunate that I didn't do something stupid." After his split-second deliberations, Lieberman pointed out the $700,000 mistake to the teller.
Holland pointed out her bank's error, too. "At the end of the day this isn't my money and I kept visualizing a little old lady who's missing $23,000. I'm glad my mother taught me right from wrong," she said.
How to avoid the dilemma
To avoid such situations, keep a close eye on your accounts.
"Manage your balance yourself in addition to what your bank is doing," Johnson said. Online banking may have made it easy to throw out the old fashioned check registers, but he uses his to reconcile his account to the penny, "even though I only write a check to the woman who takes care of our cats every two months."
Software is also available to double check the bank's figures. And at the teller line, look at the deposit slip as confirmation and verify it is the amount intended. Also, Johnson said, double check remote deposits made with phones.
"It's really important in this world to protect yourself and to take responsibility even though we largely depend on financial institutions to do that for us," Johnson said.
Still not convinced? Consider this: "Back to my cybersecurity paranoia, some measures assist customers in protecting from unauthorized transactions on the other side," he said. "You can definitely play a major role in the first line of defense."
Because even if you're not in a hurry to report that big deposit, we would all want to know right away if money's going out that shouldn't.
This article originally appeared on NBC News.