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Oct 20 / Laurie Northrup

Where my money goes

Where’s George is a really great hobby if you have a short attention span. There’s no required level of dedication. You can have a box full of colorful inks and a variety of stamps. You can endlessly obsess about it, pore over your stats, create hit maps, pursue complete sets of states or counties (“bingos”) and make special trips just to log and spend bills in novel zip codes. Or you can type in a few serial numbers, scrawl the website on them, set them free, and not think about the site for months or years on end until you get a hit e-mail.

I’m somewhere in between. I have attended a few gatherings in my area, the farthest away being in Hyde Park, NY. I have about 5,000 bills entered – seems like a lot, but that’s an average of 416 a year. Sometimes I stamp all of the cash that I have, sometimes I don’t. I go through phases where I get straps of ones from the bank to enter, but usually I don’t. If I have a pile of change for a craft show or a garage sale, I’ll enter it all if I have time.

I picked up the habit 12 years ago while working at a rest stop on the Thruway in central New York (Warners, I-90 westbound.) Working somewhere like that makes you start thinking about where the bills that pass through your hands end up.

All that is an introduction to showing off my latest hit maps. Last year, I completed the somewhat dubious accomplishment of having at least one bill entered in each of the 62 counties of New York state. Massachusetts, you’re next.

New York map

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