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Do you know how hard it is not to spend a dollar that is in your wallet, especially when it’s the last one?
I have been carrying around a dollar bill for at least two weeks now. When I received it back in my change at a gas station in Sunset Beach, I immediately noticed a red stamp on the dollar. It reads “Track this bill @ www.wheresgeorge.com.” The red stamp appears on both sides of the bill.
My curiosity was immediately raised and I decided not to spend the bill until I went online and checked out the website.
Then I forgot it was in my wallet.
Five times in the last two weeks, I have pulled that dollar bill out of my wallet to spend. Each time I remembered I wanted to check it out and put it back. Each time I keep forgetting to go online.
When I finally went online, I was asked to enter the dollar bill’s serial number and my zip code.
I did this expecting to find at least five or six years of history about my 2006 issued dollar.
I was a bit disappointed to learn only one other person had checked the bill into the website. It was the person who registered it in December 2011. No rich history of travels here.
In my mind I had conjured up a grand trip for the dollar bill. Perhaps it had started out in Seattle, Wash., been carried by a surfer in the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii before skiing the slopes in Colorado.
Maybe it had been given as part of a child’s allowance for making his bed all week or it was a church donation. Maybe it had been crumpled in a pocket and discovered in the laundry and traveled all the way to Brunswick County.
According to the website, my dollar bill was registered by a user on Dec. 2 in Morganton. My 2006 series dollar bill had traveled 222 miles in 58 days 17 hours and 59 minutes at an average rate of 3.8 miles per day. (I know these stats are skewed as I had it tucked away in my wallet for nearly two weeks.)
I pulled up the user’s profile who registered the bill and was astonished to learn Ed, 64, from Morganton has entered 16,964 bills into the tracking system. So far only 3,209 of those bills have had hits where someone like me tracked the dollar. He has a total of 3,847 hits meaning some of the bills have been tracked several times.
Ed wrote a note on the dollar’s tracking information. “Please spend me in Ericson, NE. GBA.”
I am baffled as to what GBA stands for, as are several of my coworkers. When I Googled it I came back with two listings for Curious George. For me that is fitting. It was curiosity that led me to check out this dollar bill.
While I don’t plan to personally spend the dollar in Nebraska, I will set it free to follow its journey. It is kind of fascinating to see where a dollar bill can go and in what amount of time.
The website allows users to track both U.S. and Canadian bills. All you have to do is enter the serial number on the bill and your zip code.
During my search, I stumbled upon another website www.trackdollarbills.com. I had no idea tracking bills was such a popular pastime.
This site has 4,763 members who have entered a total of $2,533,921 into the database via 32,567 entries. That is a lot of money they are tracking!
Now let’s track that money back to Brunswick County and fill our cash registers locally.
I am headed out to spend my dollar bill at a local store. Let’s see how many dollars we can get to show up in our county, helping our people provide for their families and putting people back to work.
Let’s track these dollars and bring them here.