WheresGeorge.com Literally Tracks Where Your Money Goes
When you buy a box of cereal at the store, there are ways of finding out how much of that money stays with the store and how much goes back to Kellogs, Post, or General Mills. But what about the actual dollar bills you hand to the cashier? Before the day is done, those valuable pieces of paper can change hands several times at several different places. One website let's you literally track the stops.
While I was counting the cash we collected during Friday's Putt Fore Life to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (thanks to all that came out by the way), I noticed one of the dollar bills had a red stamp on it that said, "Track this bill. Wheresgeorge.com". Out of curiosity, I gave it a go.
The process is pretty simple, type in the 10-12 digit serial number (no spaces) and your area code and hit "Continue". If the bill has previously been entered into their database, the site will give you the opportunity to write a short description of how it found its way into your hands. From there, you click the "Finish" button and TA-DA! The bill's travel journal will show you where it's been.
Wheresgeorge.com has been around since 1998 and relies solely on its users to keep an accurate log of a dollar bill's journey, which I believe is as major design flaw. The dollar I looked up said it had been in one other place (Naylor, Missouri) before someone gave it to me as a donation at Putt Fore Life. While it's entirely possible that whoever gave it to me picked it up in Naylor on the way back home from a trip, the bill was printed in 2006. Granted, to accurately track any bill, the U.S. Mint would have to input each and every one into the wheresgeorge.com database before releasing it into circulation. Something tells me they have better things to do.
With that said, I don't think accuracy is the goal of wheresgeorge.com. It was setup by electronic commerce consultant Hank Eskin from Boston, Massachusetts to be nothing more than something fun to do. In that respect, it hits the nail on the head. Or punches the button on the register.