Saturday, August 3

$1.8 Million Bill Only Worth $1.80, Oh Well

10,000,000 Turkish Lira jax
I was excited for the local Jacksonville man who believed his 10,000,000 Turkish Lira bill would be worth about $1.8 million. That would be awesome to find a single bill worth that much in a photo album, just waiting for you to cash it in. Especially for a millennial. But it did seem odd to me that someone would have stuck such a large sum of money in a photo album. I guess the answer is in: it was a small bill based on an older Lira, and it's basically worth 1/1,000,000 of what a new Lira would be worth.

So it's pretty much a $2 bill. Those are cool and all, but it won't get you a new mansion next door to Tim Tebow. I assume what happened in Turkey is that inflation went out of control, and Liras basically became worthless, so people were buying lamb burgers with 10,000,000 Liras, and that's just nuts, so the government went and changed the rate to Liras the 10,000,000 being worth 10. All fixed, except for some people held onto the old bills just for fun, since they weren't worth much, anyhow. And now, whenever some family member in America finds an old Lira bill, they'll get all excited. Sad and funny, of course. I bet it would cost more to pay a bank to exchange the money than it's worth, if a bank in America will even take the old Lira in exchange.

Obviously, one red flag had to have been the fact that such a bill would exist in the first place. Our highest-value bill in America is currently only $100. We did have a $100,000 bill back during the Depression for sending money between banks. And we had a $500 bill until 1946, as well as $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000.

We have the greatest economy in the world. and we don't tend to print bills worth more than $100. Of course, I think we'll eventually have to drop the penny, nickel, and dime, and maybe add the $500 bill back in, but even then, we're talking a single bill worth only 1/3600th of what this single Turkish piece of paper was supposed to be worth.

In fact, in American money, the highest bank notes anywhere in the world are worth up to about $7,000 (two of them), and probably mostly used for money laundering purposes. The 1,000 Swiss Franc is worth around $1,000. If you happen to find a 10,000 note in Brunei or Singapore Dollars, then it's a nice haul of around $7,000, but it's also not very likely that your grandma's going to stick one of those in your photo album, unless she's some kind of drug kingpin.

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