Tracking money (Or: Where will it go next)

One of the more random things that I have seen since moving here is a few rare occurrences of dollar bills tracked through Where’s George?, a website which allows you to track where your dollar bills (and other American currency) have been.

So far I have found 6 registered dollar bills. None of them have had any further hits after I registered that I found the bill.

Serial number removed for George’s protection 🙂 Around the seal, it reads “Track this bill wheresgeorge.com”. The two arrows point to the serial number (top) and series number (bottom). On the right side it says “This is registered bill”. There are different stamps out there. This one is pretty elaborate.

In case you are wondering, the top user has entered over 2 million bills and had hits on 371,000 of them. (He actually stamps new bills and sends them on their way, which obviously raises the counts a lot. Most people just find already stamped bills and mark that they were found again.)

Here’s a snippet from his website mentioned above:

“I am catching a lot of the local people looking at me out of the corner of their eyes and several of the local elderly have been giving me the Anti-Evil-Eye sign behind my back.

Lately, the bank in Wattsburg always seems to be closed when I pull up in my car (even at noon) and Bill Spenser at the Keystone station is getting tired of selling me gasoline 6 or 8 Georges at a time.”

Since it is technically illegal to deface American currency, the Where’s George website does have its own rules section to try and prevent liability on their end. You can also read more at the Wikipedia page,  which states that bills which are entered into the system but not marked are called “stealths” and that most people mark the bills to increase the hit rate. So the consensus on the Where’s George? website’s end is that people are only marking the bills to get more hits – they themselves do not encourage it.

It’s odd that I didn’t see many of these marked bills in Chicago, only when I moved here. It’s an interesting tactic, and apparently Canadians have a similar site called Where’s Willy?

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Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Tracking money (Or: Where will it go next)

  1. Marco

    That’s the “fun” thing about the Euro. Since every country makes their own, they all have a different symbol on them. I don’t recall if it’s for bills too, but definitely for coins.
    A lot of the coins you end up with will turn out to be from another country.
    Obviously most of those will be from the neighboring ones (Germany, Belgium) but I’ve had greek and Italian ones in my wallet too.

    Now I wonder if people keep track of the euros like the sites you mentioned do for yours.
    Interesting… (but still I’m too lazy to either look up such a site or figure out how large of a % of money in our wallet is from other countries.)

  2. I had no idea each country made their own (and that one side is the generic euro side and one side’s image is chosen by the manufacturing country). At least those are somewhat harder to deface…

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