Have you ever been curious about where the paper money in your pocket has been, and where it goes after it leaves your hand? If so, WheresGeorge.com is the website for you.
The Where’s George? Website was started in 1998, “for fun,” to track paper currency. The website has a form to input your bills’ denomination ($1, $5, any denomination), Bill Series, Serial #, and zip code. There is also a space to fill in a short note about the bill, and to write the condition of the bill when found. The downside is that although you input your zip code, the site just displays the city that the bill is found in, and most participants provide little further detail. Including more details when you log bills will definitely make the experience more interesting for everyone.
Interestingly, the website does list the Top 10 bills logged, and #1 has traveled quite far. It was first logged in Dayton, Ohio and traveled through quite a few states before landing in Michigan. Over 3 years it has been logged 15 times, from the Sonic to McDonalds, from Jack in the Box to the Food Mart, with a stop at the race track on its way. Oh yes, and a strip club too (the bill was found on the floor there). Number one has certainly had a longer and more interesting trek than the average bill. On average though, it appears most bills tend to stay in the same region, landing in fast food restaurants and convenience stores.
The site recommends creating an account and logging in before entering a bill so that you can return and track where the bill goes next. You can also look up any bill not in your possession without logging in (assuming you still have the serial number). However, if you create a “Where’s George?” account, you can easily track all of the bills that you enter. The site even calculates your George Score, based on how many bills you enter and how many “hits” they generate. There are no prizes or rewards for George Scores, just personal satisfaction.
I wouldn’t get too excited about this website just yet. The average hit rate on a bill is 11% and the average time for a hit is 27 days. However, if you sit back and be patient, you might get a glimpse of where some of your money goes once it leaves your hands.
Oh yes, and for our Canadian readers, there is “Where’s Willy?” WheresWilly.com to track Canadian Currency.