The Million Pound Banknote Summary

The Million Pound Banknote Summary

Part 1 & 2

An American businessman was sailing a small boat on the Pacific next to San Francisco when a giant storm pushes him out to sea. A few sailors on a ship save him and take him to England. Being poor, and with only one dollar to his name, the man buys cheap lodgings for 1 day. He is so poor that he cannot afford to buy food, so when he sees a child dropping a pear he tries to take and eat it, but it was filthy.

The butler of a rich family calls him into a house where two rich brothers lived. They had gotten into an argument that was about poor people. One of the brothers believed that if a poor person was given 1 million pounds, he would run away with the money, but the other man thought that he would give it back. They had decided to test their theory on this man, so they gave him a one million pound banknote and left the country.  The man went to the nearest shop and bought food. After buying food, he wanted to return the money, but the butler did not let him.

Part 3

After not being allowed to return the banknote, the American businessman goes to the nearest clothing store to buy some clothes. When he wants to pay, and the owner of the store sees his banknote, he tells him that he does not have to pay, and that they were going to make him some very nice clothes. They also gave him the unwanted clothes of a foreign prince.

Part 4

After ten days, the businessman becomes so popular that he is always being followed by a mob of people. The diner where he first bought food was overflowing with customers and was one of the most popular places in London to eat. Even the ambassador of the U.S. invites him to come to a dinner at his house. The American businessman finds out that his father was a good friend of the ambassador.

Part 5

The millionaire goes to the ambassador's home for dinner. Another American recognizes him as Henry Adams, and they start talking to each other. The American tells Henry that he had left America and had lost most of the money he had earned in the States. Sadly, the dinner party ends because a row broke out over who was the most important, and who should sit at the head of the table, so it was decided that they would not eat dinner at all.

Part 6

At the party, Henry Adams falls in love with one of the ambassador's daughter's. He tells her his whole story, and how he was not rich, even though he had a million pound banknote. The girl accompanies Adams home and bids him goodnight. In his mind, Henry promises that when the rich brothers who gave him this banknote came back, he would work for them and ask for a £12,000 salary per month.

Part 7

The American tells Henry that he wants to sell his business and can't because no one intends to buy it. Henry notifies his American friend that he will publicize in the newspapers that someone should buy his business for three million pounds. Henry's friend is so overjoyed that he starts dancing in the rich man's apartment, almost breaking a sofa.


After one month of using the one million pound banknote, Henry meets the rich twins and finds out that one of them is his  girlfriend's father. He promises to give the rich American a job and allows him to marry his daughter. In the end, Henry gives back the banknote and everyone lives happily ever after.