What Are Chances of Finding A Hundred Bill?

I was wondering what are the chances of finding a large currency note on the street? Obviously it would be very far in between, pretty slim. Finding dollar bill(s) is quite common, and even more so finding change.

It seems the larger the note, the less likely one is find it on the ground. Often large bank notes are found in lost wallets, purses/handbags, packets, but never by itself.

This past week I was walking and found a hundred dollar bill on the ground(knocks on wood), and was not sure if it were authentic or not. So I took it over to a bank and they told me it was in fact real. It is one of those new ones issued by the Federal Reserve, with a security ribbon, large print, and a reflection of Benjamin Franklin when held up.

And yes it was just lying there waiting to be claimed, there were no other bills around, nor a wallet.


That’s all I got.

I think I lost one. It might be mine.

I found a $20 bill once at the grocery store I worked at and it was like hitting the lottery. That was what I was paid for working 5 hours!

When I was in about 8th grade, I was riding my bike and saw a wallet lying on the street, and picked it up, and there was $27.50 in it, and absolutely nothing else, no ID or anything. My weeky allowance then (1953) was 25c, and it had the buying power of about $400 today. My dad made me save it, and it paid most of the $35 tuition fee for my first semester of college.

My brother-in-law’s wife once found a brown paper bag on the street near her house in Detroit, and there was $17,000 in cash in it. She quickly became an expert on designer brands.

Finding paper bags with large quantities of cash is a red flag - very few honest people carry such things, and the people who do carry them tend to want them back.
See opening sequence of Atlantic City (IIRC - no, not Susan Sarandon’s boobs) - her brother vs. the mob guy.

Back in the mid 80s I found a loose $50 note stuck in the shrubbery outside the apartment building. Was my first experience with…

…hedge funds.

About eight or nine years ago, i attended a conference in Alexandria, Virginia. It wasn’t very far from the Metro station to the hotel, and i was a poor grad student at the time, so i decided to walk.

On the way there, walking through a residential neighborhood, i looked down at the kerb and saw some bills, which turned out to be two 50s and two 100s, for $300 total. I looked around, to see if anyone was frantically searching the street for lost money, but there was not a person in sight, so i picked up the money and continued on my way.

I’ve actually found hundred-dollar bills twice.

The first time was in downtown Chicago. I was in a Borders, and while I was browsing the CDs I spotted the actress who played the Oracle in Matrix Reloaded. Fifteen minutes later I was crossing the street and found a C-note in the crosswalk. Coincidence? I think not!

The second time was in a Menards parking lot. Nothing mystical that time, although the bill was neatly folded and enclosed in a tiny glassine envelope.

Also, the novel (and film) A Simple Plan. Some guys find a bag of cash in the woods and decide to keep it. Result: Lots and lots of violence and death. That book will kill off any fantasies you have about finding money.

…Or even (streaching the point) No Country for Old Men

My daughter found a big bill in a WalMart parking lot - I think it was $100. There was no one around, no one obviously searching for anything, so she kept it. That lot was known for, um, substance transactions…

I found $40 in my driveway, but it had fallen out of my pocket. Lesson learned - keep bigger bills in the wallet and just put small amounts in the pocket.

My son and DIL found a $100 bill at the beach, in the water I think where they were looking for shells. They let it dry in the sun and then went to the boardwalk.

My little brother bought his first new car with a bag of cash. He researched the hell out of the car he wanted and went into a dealership. He told the salesman the car he wanted, put his bag on the desk and said that was what he was willing to pay. It took a while for the salesman to count up the twenties, then he made a counter offer. My brother picked up his bag to leave, but before he was to the door the salesman caved.

ETA: hiking in St Martin, I found a roll of US bills (around a grand). On the hike back we ran into a couple obviously searching. It was their vacation money and the joy it brought them was worth way more than the cash.

Just check for the tracking device first. :wink:
I’ve found about 30 dollars in assorted Canadian bills folded up in a weird looking wallet laying on a sidewalk in Stratford Ontario. While working in Flint MI I found a 100 dollar bill in the basement of a dingy apartment complex.

The most I’ve ever found is a $20 on the ground next to an ATM. Obviously dropped by the previous user, who was nowhere in sight. It bought lunch.

That was (IIRC) fiction. Not a reliable guide to evaluating real-life outcomes.

I was walking down the street in Brooklyn and spotted a pile of $20 bills on the ground. Someone walking the same direction saw them at the same time, so we split them and walked away $80 richer. There was an ATM on the block, but no one else in the vicinity.

I found three $1 bills in a McDonald’s parking lot once. Thought I was just lucky until I noticed three $20s also laying a short distance from the three $1s. So I found $63 all lying on the ground at one time and it made me pretty happy.

The odds are better in a large city.
More people + richer people = better odds.