Two-Dollar Bill: What are the Chances?

Two-Dollar Bill: What are the Chances?

Over the weekend, my husband was at a local coffee shop and the change he received for his large hot mocha included a two-dollar bill. The bill was crisp and clean; series dated 2003A, and looked like it had never seen the insides of a wallet.

And that got me wondering to when the last time was that I had seen a two-dollar bill.

Two-dollar Tid-bits

I did a search about the two-dollar bill on the website for the U.S. Department of Treasury. Here’s what I found on the FAQs about Currency denominations:

• The Federal Reserve System does not request the printing of the two-dollar bill as often as the others.
• The Series 2003A $2 bill was the last printed and bears the names of former Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snow and Treasurer Rosario Marin.
• As of April 30, 2007 there were $1,549,052,714 worth of $2 bills in circulation worldwide.

The modern two-dollar bill was issued in 1976 for the U.S. Bicentennial. I have one of those 590,720,000 notes as a memento of my birth year!

For the Teachers and Students

Browsing the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Education link, I found a plethora of other useful and interesting information for today’s youth and teachers.

I especially liked the For the Kids! where you can find kid-friendly websites on topics such as the White House, the U.S. Mint, and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Since my mind was on currency, I took a look at the U.S. Mint site and had fun reading about coin circulation facts and coloring the Arizona state quarter. I also found many links for teachers, including lesson plans.

What are the Chances?

In 2004, 121,600,000 of the newest $2 bills, Series 2003A, were printed for the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. A new issue of Series 2003A $2 bills was printed from July to September 2006 for all 12 Federal Reserve Banks. In all, 220,800,000 notes were printed1.

So, the single two-dollar bill that my husband encountered is one of 342,400,000 printed between 2004-2006.

Some say that it is bad luck if you come across a two-dollar bill. Others say the two-dollar bill is fake. And then there are some who are intrigued by the rarity and collect them! My interest was certainly sparked by the rare occurrence. Is yours?