April 21, 2006

Speaking of Cash, …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:44 pm

Speaking of cash (see below), one of the bills I received at the local 7-11 bore a stamp that read, “Track this bill at WheresGeorge.com.”  Interesting.

Who among us has not wondered about the travels of paper money?  Haven’t you ever considered whether the greenback in your pocket has traversed the U.S. a couple times, or maybe it has remained “local” before it found its way to you?  (Am I being presumptuous here?)

Anyway, I tucked the “marked” bill in a pocket from which I would not be likely to spend it until I could check the website referenced on the bill.

I finally got around to checking out the site, and I dutifully entered the serial number and series of my buck.  Whammo!  There it was!  I learned that about six and half months ago, someone in a town about six miles from here discovered it in his kid’s Trick-or-Treat bag, and I was the first person since then to report its existence on the site.  I have no way of knowing where it was in the interim.  It may have sat in someone’s wallet or on someone’s dresser, or it could have been to California and back and not have been logged in at the site.

For any given bill that is registered, the site will tell you when and where it was “entered”, and it will track its movements over time, and even draw a map.

What was most interesting to me was the number of people who are very interested in tracking the movement of currency.  Some regulars on the site go to their banks, get a stack of bills, enter each of them into the system and then count their “hits”.  As of this writing, more than 92 million bills have been entered into the system!

Go figure.

I plan on taking my marked bill to Austin next week and tracking it from there.

Note:  I gotta believe that Harvey, the Graffiti-Currency Guy, is already hip to the site.

Thanks to Kristen for the Austin idea.

7 Comments »

  1. I had never thought of that but it sounds like a very interesting idea. Thank you for the info.

    Comment by Battlerocker — April 21, 2006 @ 9:04 pm

  2. Yeah they’ve been doing it for several years now. I remember when they first started… although I’ve never actually been over there to check it out. It’s a cool idea. I wonder how many of the “regulars” send out bills that eventually come back to them. That would be kinda freaky.

    Comment by Teresa — April 21, 2006 @ 9:36 pm

  3. I’ve got almost 1,900 bills entered in the system, from daily play for about a year and a half. It was fun for a while. Here’s my profile if you’re interested.

    Comment by Ken Adams — April 21, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

  4. I had to go looking for it, but I’d ready the other day that some scientists had looked at the data from Where’s George and found it useful for studying the spread of a possible pandemic.

    Here’s the link.

    Comment by Craig — April 22, 2006 @ 5:08 am

  5. Wonder how many are North Korean conterfeits imported by the Chinese Communists?

    Comment by MCPO Airdale — April 22, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

  6. I got one a couple of months ago, and passed along to a colleague for his grade school aged son to track. Pretty nifty!

    Comment by Omnibus Driver — April 24, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

  7. Caught me :-)

    I’m nowhere NEAR as obsessive as Ken, though. Only 436 bills :-)

    Comment by Harvey — April 30, 2006 @ 11:25 am

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