Money in a briefcase

How much paper currency could a standard business-type briefcase hold? You see in the movies depictions of guys handing over a briefcase holding “A million dollars.” But is this feasible? If one used $1,000 bills, I guess so. But what about $100s? or even worse, $20s and $50s?

I guess it comes down to how many bills can one fit in a briefcase.

Any ideas?

There are 100 bills of $100 bills to a bundle (i.e. $10,000 per bundle). So you would need 100 bundles to make $1,000,000.

A bundle is approx. 6"x2 1/2"x1/2". If you could get a 100 of those into a briefcase, you could easily have $1 million in a case.

Assume the interior of your briefcase was 12"x25"x4", you could get easily get 160 bundles in it, well over $1 million.

A regular briefcase can hold ~$780,000 in $100 bills, according to this site.

$100 is the highest bill in circulation - so you won’t be able to load up on $1,000 bills to stuff more in there.

Interesting. I’ll get a bag with a shoulder strap since it’s going to be heavy.

You could try filling the briefcase with €500 bills, which would give you in the order of USD 5 to 10 million, by my calculations.

From Googling, a US dollar bill is .0043 inches thick, so a single stack of 10,000 $100 bills (a million dollars) would be 43 inches thick.

Assuming a briefcase had an interior depth of 4.3 inches, you’d need 10 equal sized stacks. Since a $100 bill is 2.61 inches wide by 6.14 inches long, you could probably fit a million dollars into:

12.28in x 13.05in x 4.3in

Which should be able to fit in a single large briefcase.

I’ve seen a million in 100 dollar bills and I doubt it would fit into a briefcase, my guess would be about 750K if they were new bills tightly wrapped.

I saw the millions at the Fed in NYC, I have a friend that works there. They are stored in the gold vault in shrink wrapped bundles of 1 million. My impression at the time was that they were a little too large to be carried by tucking under one arm and if I wanted to abscond I would have to carry one bundle in both arms,

Depends. Brand new bills stack about half as thick as used ones. I ssume we’re talking fresh; if you want to do something less traceable, instread of sequentially numbered new bills, double the size. Bills are typically bundled in 100’s; so somewhere between 1/2 inch for new to 1 inch per bundle for used.

Of course, nowadays, if the bank doesn’t have a bill-scanner to read serial numbers off any stack, I’m sure the FBI will provide one when a customer asks for a million in cash. So, you know any stack of cash will be tracked. The Treasury has a whole computer system devoted to tracking large bills.

Staples has this: Dimensions: 12-1/2"H x 17"W x 4"-5"D
Unlike the briefcase in “Pulp Fiction” this does not appear to come with a gold-tinted refrigerator light.

It neatly holds 2 down by 6 across stacks of money. So 12 stacks; but you want $1M, which is 100 bundles. They need to be 8 deep then, plus 4 bundles left over that can go in the lid pocket.

Conveniently, 8 deep is 4 inches for brank new bills, but it’ll be a tight squeeze for used non-sequential unmarked bills. You just have to break one of the $100’s to buy the attache case.

For 50’s, double it. For 20’s, you need 5 cases, etc. Don’t involve the police and come alone.

Would you take a check?

Preferably a cashier’s check.

A little side note, all US currency larger than the $100 bill were recalled by the government in 1969. The remaining bills still in the hands of private citizens are all collectors items worth much more than face value.

So you can’t go to a bank and get a briefcase full of $1000 bills.

As another useful data point I read somewhere (how’s that for a cite?) that one million in hundreds weighs about 110 pounds.

Do it in Singapore - we have a SGD$10,000 bill (about $7,500 USD) so you would only need about 1300 of them - I don’t see too much of a problem fitting that into a standard briefcase.

Using the $750K figure for $100 bills, I could have $150K of $20s in a briefcase.

Good to know.

Or bearer bonds