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Monday, July 6, 2009

Where's George?

Last week the lunch crew in the building I work in decided to have a Franken pizza party (presumably to celebrate the fact that Minnesota again has two senators) but more likely because the cupboard at home was bare and lunch ingredients were elusive. They came around asking for preferences (for pizza, not political) and based on participation, the collection was three dollars per person for lunch. I went to dig out the requisite three dollars and as I got them ready to hand over noticed that one bill had stamped on it in red ink Where's George.com.

Being the curious sort, I had to check it out. So I scounged up another bill for the pizza, kept the one with the red stamp on it and did some web investigation. What I found was an intriguing little website where you can find out where that paper money in your pocket has been or where it will go next.All you need to do is enter the denomination, series, and serial number of any US dollar bill, and your current USA ZIP or Canadian Post Code in the box.

If the dollar bill you enter has been entered here before, you will get back a list of all the cities/states where that bill has been, as well as travel time, distance and speed of each hop!

If this dollar bill has not been entered before, you started the list!



Since my bill was already stamped, I registered at the site, followed the instructions for tracking a bill and found that the bill had originated in St. Cloud, MN on May 28, 2009.



One little flaw I found in the tracking information was that in following the directions in entering my bill by using my current zip code where I was, it did not actually track the bill's entire path. I knew where I had received the bill in change (Pat's Foods in Ontonagon, MI) and it had traveled considerably farther than the 150 miles to Mountain Iron, MN indicated by using my current location. It was interesting, nevertheless.

The site allows you to send and receive an anonymous e-mail message to contact the person who entered the bill and get a response from them if you wish to do so. There are a number of other things to do here too, fun/tools, a store, a top ten list, help, and a variety of reports that can be generated. It's easy to navigate and some curious fun besides.

If you're from Canada, be sure to check out Where's Willy? to track your Canadian Currency!





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