In 1962, Postmaster General J. Edward Day proclaimed, “We are not in the stamp lottery business.” This was in response to learning that some Dag Hammarskjold stamps had an invert (printed upside down) color. Day ordered 40 million more of the errors printed to avoid introducing another rare stamp to the world.
Today, stamps are roll-fed into printers, rather than sheet fed. So, inverts no longer occur. However, in 1994, when the USPS released the Legends of West stamps, 183 sheets made it into circulation before someone realized that Ben Pickett’s image was on a stamp meant for his brother, Bill Pickett. The postmaster general ordered another 150,000 sheets of the stamps to avoid adding another stamp to the “rare and valuable” hunt.