Fun Money Facts That I Hope Are All True

By Steve Tepper, CFP®, MBA


Yes, I found these on the internet, so probably about 40% of them are true. If you have any corrections, let me know:

  • Ever have coins in your pocket setting off the airport security alarm? You aren’t alone. In 2015, the TSA collected $765,759.15 in loose change at security checkpoints. (They just finished putting it all in those little coin rolls last Tuesday.)

  • Worn-out bills are turned into compost at a rate of about 4 tons a day at a farm in Delaware.

  • Need to take your worn, wrinkly bills to a vending machine? Microwave them for 20 seconds. That flattens them out (and makes the world’s least tasty soup).

  • It really is all about the Benjamins: $10 bills have the shortest life span, retired after an average of 4.5 years, while Franklins ($100) last 15 years.

  • Holding on to that $2 bill because it’s so rare and might increase in value? Think again. There are over a billion in circulation (about the same as $50 bills, and I don’t see you hoarding them!).

  • Speaking of the deuce, the main reason they never caught on is because cash registers and teller drawers had no slot for them, as none of the other denominations was retired.

  • And one more fun $2 bill fact: The government has a bunker in Virginia where they have a large stash of cash, presumably to restart the economy after nuclear Armageddon or the zombie apocalypse. Because they had so many surplus $2 bills on hand, about a billion Jeffersons are stored there.

  • You might think the mint uses a lot of ink printing bills, and you’d be right. Nine tons of ink is used to print 26 million notes each day! And you thought your Office Depot bill was high.

  • Why was the Secret Service created? It doesn’t help to know when it happened: two months after Lincoln’s assassination. The Secret Service guards the President, so obviously they were created to: stop counterfeiting! True story.

  • The best way to make money in a gold rush? Sell pickaxes! The 1850s California Gold Rush brought so many fortune seekers to San Francisco that prices skyrocketed there. In today’s dollars, a dozen eggs went for $90, a hotel room for $300,000 a month, and a pickaxe for the reasonable price of $1,500. So don’t wait for the next rush to begin—get a pickaxe at Walmart today for $14.97. In fact, get a couple hundred.


16 Mind-Blowing Facts About Money That Will Make Your Jaw Drop by Brandon Specktor. Readers

Why Are Two Dollar Bills So Uncommon? Quora Forum, John Bennardo (September 25, 2017) and Paul Burchstead (March 18, 2019)