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Wheres George and Angelina Jolie

angelina jolie

Please read to the end for the surprise Angelina Jolie twist…

So there I was, hanging with the family on short vacation, paying for those insidious Happy Meals at an undisclosed location in Grand Forks, ND. Then it happened… the counter girl handed me my change, with a smile. As I was about to stuff the bills in my wallet and go stuff my face, the red ink stamped next to George Washington jumped out at me. I was intrigued, curious and wondered what mysterious message awaited my discovery.

www.wheresgeorge.com
wheres george

For a brief moment, I felt had just won a mini lottery until I read the following message: See where I’ve been Track where I go next www.wheresgeorge.com   A little deflated, I cursed my decision to not bring my laptop on the family vacation, but having to wait a few days to check this out probably added to the excitement. Honestly, I thought I was seeing a knew viral marketing tactic with America’s best viral medium… money! Who was behind this? The movie industry, an ingenious charity, the US Government… I was wrong, wrong, way wrong!

After getting home and pulling up www.wheresgeorge.com  I discovered the United States Currency Tracking Experiment has been going on for more than 10 years (where have I been!!!), and exactly as the message suggests it is designed for the curious at heart to track where a bill has been and after you release it back into the world, where it will go next.

where is george

So today, wanting to know the history of this particular George Washington, I signed up at the site and entered in the serial number, current location of the dollar bill I had found and short little story. In hopes, that I would discover a vast history that I have so vividly imagined. Of course, this bill must have traveled thousands of miles, and touched the hands of Angelina Jolie in Hollywood, passed though the casinos of Las Vegas, and worked its was north by some hitch hiker who was trying to get home to see the love her life, and kept this last dollar to have a cheese burger at McDonalds while she waited for her long lost love to come pick her up where they first met .

Not quite…

wheres george bill tracking report

So it turns out, this bill has travelled a measly 337 Miles, from Minnesota, USA to Manitoba, Canada in a little over a year. A big, big Yawn! But that doesn’t mean the story ends here. Here is the Angelina Jolie twist. Let’s give this George Washington fellow a real trip. If anyone reading this on the other side of the world, or at least not in North America, has a great cause to support… I’m buying!!!! Your cause will get the Wheres George 1$ bill and I will throw in an additional $100. Just reply to this post, and we can work out the details via email. I will continue to update this story as it unfolds!

un goodwill ambassador angelina jolie

Maybe we can eventually get this bill to Angelina Jolie or to someone who will help change the world with it, or at least give this George Washington guy a little sexier ending than 337 measly miles and a McDonalds Happy Meal. According to their site WheresGeorge.com hasn’t made the news in 6 years, and their blog hasn’t seen a fresh post in 2 years. Maybe its time the owners and the estimated 50,000+ registered users of  www.wheresgeorge.com  start using those dollars to help out those who are less fortunate, and see just how viral money can be when it has some good karma attached to it.

Update # 001- Thursday, July 31/2008 –  Wheres George user Amy stopped by and straightened me out on a few things, namely not exposing the serial number of a bill. That was confirmed when a few minutes later came from none other than Hank Eskin, the creator of WheresGeorge.com (pasted in a comment below)!  So NO, requests for a charity on the other side of the world yet, but as per Amy I will be heading over to the Wheres George forum to see the users section devoted to Charity. Kudos to Amy for helping raise money for Breast Cancer.

 This post will continue to be updated as it develops.

Comments

amy!

Hi — I’m a Where’s George user. Glad you had a little fun with that bill. The main site itself stays a little static, which is why you don’t see recent updates, but the discussion forums are very active. There is lots of press that gets posted for users to share.

I’m sorry the bill you found doesn’t have a lot of history. Most people who get our marked bills don’t notice the markings or are a little skeptical of the website and so the hit rates (how many times a bill gets entered) are pretty low. About 15-20% of my bills get re-entered one time. Even fewer get entered multiple times and have the history you were hoping for. But sometimes you see some really neat things when they e-mail you a hit report. I’ve had bills hit in a several foreign countries and 43/50 states.

There are also some charity efforts, a whole section of the forums is devoted to it. Myself, I have marked a large number of bills with a breast cancer ribbon and a note that I will donate to breast cancer should the bill be re-entered. In 3 months, that’s generated over $60 in donations.

As for your Angelina Jolie project, sadly, by posting the serial number of the bill in the photograph, it’s likely that your bill will be blocked from being re-entered. The site owner does this to prevent people from generating false hits on bills they don’t actually have in their possession.

leeraito

Hi Amy,

Thanks for your response! You were right on all fronts, as per the email I received from Hank Eskin, owner of WheresGeorge.com, a few minutes after your comment. :>) I have already blurred the serial numbers and will be heading over to the forum to check out the charity section. Congrats again on raising money for Breast Cancer by adding a ribbon on the bills. I hope people will set their skepticism aside and help out such a good cause.

——————

Here is Hank Eskin’s email to me today:

Hello Lee,

Just for your information, WG is owned and entirely operated by one person — me. And I am quite active in keeping the site running, but haven’t had time to update the blogs or news pages.

I would ask of you one request — can you please mask or blur the serial numbers on your blog entry, so other people who do not have the bill attempt to enter it, causing invalid tracking entries. There are two serial numbers on the bill itself, and again on the screen shot of the entry form.

thanks,
-Hank Eskin

——-

No problem Hank… all done!

Grincholo

Hi Lee:

I am one of “those people.” You mention “charity,” Not sure what type of project you might be looking for, however, one thing I do with some of my “Georges” (well, more accurately “Hamiltons”, “Jacksons” & “Grants”) is buy “School Room Supplies” (like maps, and educational posters) for schools in the Andes and their foothills. With few exceptions I dont buy things for individual pupils.

Thi trick is, to actually buy the supplies IN the local pueblo, though it often costs more than it would here in Lima. However that starts more money circulating THERE in the town. (we have 72,000 “towns” of less than 150 people, in these communities we have concentrated poverty as you can imagine).

Alas, down here in South America not surprisingly, not a lot of my EMS (“Enter-Mark-Spend”) bills get hits (lets say 4 out of my 1225 bills, a near record holder for failure) so I have to amuse myself with other parts of WG. As you build up your bills entered and wait for hits, maybe you would find the section of the www page called “Georges Top 10” interesting, as there you can at least see what is happening to OTHER peoples bills, such as the “most hit” bills, and my personal favorite “International Hits” for each day.

Do let me know if you want to get in on chalkboard charity…

Saludos,

GRINCHOLO
Lima, Peru

leeraito

Hello Grincholo,

I will send a private email to get your details, as yes “Chalkboard Charity” is exactly the type of project I would like to support. Not to concerned about the hit rate you mentioned.

Hope this helps…

Saludos,
Lee

AlexM

Your blog is interesting!

Keep up the good work!

bob

I got george in lewiston maine with series # B04040778A

Matt

Lots of people think I’m crazy for using wheresgeorge but it’s a vibrant and fun community with lots of little niches. I’m slowly trying to become a Top Tom (An Elite group who focus on $2 bills) One of my favorite things is that I’ve gotten to know the stamps of people in my area who enter bills religiously (Big Props to Wattsburg Gary!) I hand write on my entries and have had a few notable hits, but I’m still waiting for the $20 i entered that was given to my good friend as the first payment by his psycho ex after she broke into his apartment and tried to win him back by repaying the over $200 she owed him 😀

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