Where can you stash $1 million in $100 dollar bills?


65 Responses to “Where can you stash $1 million in $100 dollar bills?”

  1. CLP says:

    She really withdrew $10k from her bank to make these photos? I sure hope she doesn’t get robbed or her house doesn’t burn down. (I think I would have used movie prop money.)

    • tombuck says:

      yeah right, imagine the look on the teller’s face too when Brittany rocked up and asked her to count out 10,000 $1 bills.

  2. barryyoung says:

    here’s what most people can’t visualize,
    a billion dollars is a stack of hundreds abour 4/5ths of a MILE high.
    my net worth in hundreds wouldn’t be taller than me and i’m only 5’6″.
    the net worth of most people in the world? india? china? sierra leone? about a quarter of an inch, if that.
    1/4″ vs. 4/5 mile. disparity? ask he koch bro’s.

  3. codesuidae says:

    I have to agree with the others who don’t see access to $10k as being that big of deal. I suppose if you’re still a student or early in your career it might be a big deal, but anyone who’s been employed for more than 5 years or so, and who hasn’t gotten totally screwed by a foreclosure or something, shouldn’t have too much trouble coming up with $10,000 cash.

    Assuming one is saving about 10% of one’s income, and working at $30,000 a year, it only takes a bit over 3 years to hit $10,000.

    And if you’re young (say, under 30) and single, you should probably be saving closer to 20%, so you can invest more aggressively and make the interest work more for you so that you can drop your savings rate somewhat when/if you get kids or a house or whatever.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Assuming one is saving about 10% of one’s income, and working at $30,000 a year, it only takes a bit over 3 years to hit $10,000.

      Gross: $30K
      Taxes: $10K
      Health insurance: $7K
      Rent, utilities: $10K

      Oops, already at $27K and haven’t hit food and transport yet. People who make $30K can barely eat, let alone save.

      • bkad says:
        Assuming one is saving about 10% of one’s income, and working at $30,000 a year, it only takes a bit over 3 years to hit $10,000.

        Gross: $30K
        Taxes: $10K
        Health insurance: $7K
        Rent, utilities: $10K

        Oops, already at $27K and haven’t hit food and transport yet. People who make $30K can barely eat, let alone save.

        Depends where you are. When I was a grad student, my stipend was $20K. I received some medical benefits and I don’t know how valuable they were. But my total federal/state income tax was nowhere near 33%. It was more like 15-20%, if that. And my rent plus utilities, for a two bedroom apartment, was $7300/year — when I lived with friends, I paid less than $5000 a year. This was about four years ago, in a small city of about 300K people.

        Now, I realize if one lives in NYC, or is raising a family, $20-30K is not a lot of money, but I think you are being a little unrealistic in your cost estimates.

      • apoxia says:

        Healthy insurance can cost 7k a year?!? My bf here in NZ spends just over 600$ which pays 80% of his bills. I just get on with no healthy insurance and depend on the socialist health system. Couldn’t you start your own healthy insurance by saving 7k a year?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Healthy insurance can cost 7k a year?!? My bf here in NZ spends just over 600$ which pays 80% of his bills. I just get on with no healthy insurance and depend on the socialist health system. Couldn’t you start your own healthy insurance by saving 7k a year?

          Lucky you. Here in the US, we don’t have that. My health coverage is $537 per month plus co-pays for visits and prescriptions. As to self-insuring, that’s a bad joke. I spent a night in the hospital ~ seven years ago while being diagnosed with gallstones, and the bill was $30K. My uninsured-at-the-time cousin is still paying off her appendectomy from the 1980s.

          Since I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, my chances of needing joint surgery or a mitral valve replacement or whatever is fairly high. And my particular health issues are sufficiently obscure that they never factored into insurance pricing. If I had a problem that showed up on the questionnaire, my rates would be higher or I would have been denied coverage.

          People who don’t live in the US don’t seem to appreciate that life here – health care, college, etc. – is a la carte.

          • apoxia says:

            I just keep forgetting that it really costs that much. Putting into a yearly amount is what reminded me. It’s scary as hell. Are US life insurance policies similarly expensive? We pay $25 a fortnight for me and my bf for 300k cover. That’s a bit more than usual because he has a very mild form of epilepsy that doesn’t result in loss of consciousness.

  4. Kimmo says:

    Hey, if all US$ notes are the same size, how the hell do blind folks tell em apart?

    • madsci says:

      Taste. The $1s taste like McDonald’s fries. The $100s taste like cocaine.

      • Anonymous says:

        My grandmother was blind and she said they all taste like cocaine, thanks to counting machines and ATMs. She just folded them differently in her wallet to tell them apart.

  5. aurata says:

    A million bucks in prop money costs a few hundred dollars. Withdrawing $10k for a few days and depositing it again just costs lost interest and teller fees. Real money also seems to be much greener than average prop money.

    • peterbruells says:

      Acutually, since one sees mostly the front, blank paper and a few real bills would work nicely.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s actually used in a popular scam… where I’m from it’s known as the “paquete chileno”

    • emmdeeaych says:

      No matter what the haters say, if you have 10k cash on hand to do this with, then you’re probably not doing it wrong.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Though no longer printed, a few larger denominations are still around:


  7. SharpieSniffer says:

    I once got to see (and touch) ten million dollars in twenties. It was in the 90s at Rhein-Main AB in Germany. The finance office had received a large shipment of cash which was meant for distribution to the thousands of service members processing through the base on their way to the 1st Gulf War. Back in those days, travel allowances were often disbursed as a cash advance and the base finance office needed that much to have enough to disburse.

    There were four or five (I think) PALLETS of cash and the folks at the finance office had a grand time in the vault photographing people reclined on top of the money. They also broke apart the pallets and spelled out TEN MILLION with the banded stack of cash. It was the most money any of us had ever seen at one time. Good times…

  8. dculberson says:

    Rob already did it with fake money! Using real money was the only way it would be interesting.

  9. lknope says:

    I’d be so freaked out to have that much cash that I would have definitely unplugged the microwave before I put any in there. Even if I never planned to shut the door.

    • Nightflyer says:

      Did you know that microwaving new dollar bills for 10 to 30 seconds (depending on the power of the microwave) is one way to prevent them from sticking together? A bank teller suggested it to me. We tried it at a store I used to work at, and it works. In the end we decided it was too much trouble and just crumpled them a little before we rebundled them for the registers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Someone ought to take out a bunch of pennies from the bank and check out the feasability of a Scrooge McDuck money bath.

    • peterbruells says:

      Wouldn’t prove anything. It has been shown in the comics that Scrooge’s talent of diving into money can’t be replicated by most people, even insanely rich ones. It’s usually an ancestor or decendant (via the nephews, I assume) who display the same talent.

      In the European comics his bin is filled with gold coins, by the way, and the lore is, that he simply cannot be harmed by gold. (Except, of course, when he can,)

    • RobDubya says:


      Someone ought to take out a bunch of pennies from the bank and check out the feasability of a Scrooge McDuck money bath.

      For a second there I thought you were going to suggest sticking them up your ass.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Someone ought to take out a bunch of pennies from the bank and check out the feasibility of a Scrooge McDuck money bath.

      There’s a scene in Shortbus where two characters ask each other what was the most money they ever got for turning a trick, and one of them comments that at least he knew what he was worth. It would be interesting to see a comparison of regular folks lying on a pile of their net worth compared to Oprah or Donald perched on a mountain of cash. Or maybe a prostitute on an hour’s worth of pennies compared to the Koch brothers on an hour’s worth of hundreds.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Way back I was helping my friend collect on his paper route. Back then the paper was $6 per month. One gentleman paid with a $100. Cleaned out the change. I sat there tossing the 100 up and catching it. It was surreal.

  12. jimbuck says:

    I learned this 20 years ago or so. In college during the summers I worked at a back office of a huge bank. We bundled up cash (mostly USD but others) and received cash from all sorts of places. Picture a laundry bag filled with bricks of hundreds. I remember hauling one of those bags and realized it would likely take me a lifetime to earn what was slung over my shoulder :-)

    Once, some branch sent us a 100,000 WWII Era German note, with a debit for ~64,000. Some customer walked into a branch with this note, and walked out with $64K. The note was worthless in all regards. Sent back to branch with a nice note explained what a German Mark is. The didn’t even have the customer’s name or anything. I imagine someone got fired.

    Also learned that money from Yankee Stadium is disgusting.

  13. EdCS says:

    and now that Brittany has taken these photographs, she can rest easy knowing that she can give baristas and bus drivers exact change for the next three hundred years.

  14. Enormo says:

    Ooo! Brittany! Bet you 5 bucks they won’t fit in your furnace.

  15. blacksquare says:

    I have very little money, so I’m interested in figuring out how to get some more. Whoever did this apparently knows how to get money, at least enough to be able to use $10K for an inane stunt. It doesn’t seem like intelligence is a necessary prerequisite. Time and effort don’t seem to be factors either as Brittany obviously has plenty of time on her hands. Any advice?

    • lknope says:

      Get a job?

    • CG says:

      Line of Credit? Interest on $10,000 @ 5% p.a. would be ~$1.50 per day or there about. Plus whatever banking fees to withdraw / deposit. Not a lot of money for some stunt photos.

    • Finnagain says:

      Rob a bank. That’s where the money is.

    • Moriarty says:

      1) Spend less than your income.
      2) Wait.
      3) Profit!

    • Zadaz says:

      @blacksquare: Make sure you try insulting strangers on the internet. That’s a clear way to not only make lots of money, but enhance your reputation in a way that will ensure that many people will want to give a person like you lots of money.

      Next up: Traveling through airport security with $10K in ones…

      • Anonymous says:

        Since when did being nice have anything to do with making money? If anything the opposite seems true. I present Trump, Koch(s) and the many other top wealth holders of the world as evidence.

  16. Anonymous says:

    somewhat relevant. what a trillion dollars looks like using google sketchup: http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/index.html

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m hoping someone with A BUNCH of spare cash in the bank will take Brittany’s work to the next level, and show us using $1.00 bills how much space a billion and even trillion will take up. I bet it’s more than a couple of microwaves!

    Before you get too excited, there was a previous link here a few years back that shows the sheer enormity of $1 trillion.


    Looking at the dimensions on the million dollar pile, it appears to be smaller than what Brittany ended up with. I have feeling the trillion dollar graphic is a bit understated too.

  18. Fef says:

    I think the photos would have looked nicer if she’d just put a single $100 bill on top of each stack.

  19. Vanwall says:

    Disbarred lawyer Kelly Vines said, “The average shoebox is twelve inches long, six inches wide, three and a quarter inches deep, and can hold up to three thousand US bills if they’re tightly packed. But the people I knew didn’t pack more than twenty-five hundred into one. By using hundred-dollar bills, they had a convenient, portable container that held a quarter of a million dollars and weighed only five point one pounds.”

    The late, great Ross Thomas had a practical take on it in his serio-comic thriller, “The Fourth Durango”. It was almost a denomination by itself.

  20. Anonymous says:

    the real question now is what does $1mil look like in stacked up pre-paid credit cards?

  21. Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine had this problem once. He used one of those food saver machines to shrink wrap the stacks of bills.


  22. Nick says:

    My favorite part about this is that she probably would have needed to file a Currency Transaction Report for this, because it’s $10,000. (Can’t remember if the limit is technically $10,000, or $10,000.01).

    The teller would have subtly tried to figure out what she was doing with this much cash too, it wouldn’t surprise me if a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) was filed when her answer was “just for fun!”

    • Kerov says:

      From the Suspicious Activity Report wikipedia entry:

      The report can start with any bank employee. They are generally trained to be alert for suspicious activity, such as people trying to wire money out of the country without identification, or someone with no job who starts depositing large amounts of cash into an account.

      The USA’s financial surveillance apparatus is some pretty Orwellian stuff, with your friendly local bank teller being required — by law — to report you if they think you’re “suspicious.”

  23. Anonymous says:

    Well if you don‘t want to carry a suitcase around you might want to switch to Euro’s, they come in 500 too. But you might check if your dear partner in trade will accept them. After all ‘the US $100 is the international currency of bad shit’ right ?
    Having said that i wonder if there are other, better ways to move around large values in smalle stacks. Bigger currencys ? Gold, platinum (still quite heavy)? Diamonds are the best i can think of. Any ideas ?

  24. SonOfSamSeaborn says:

    I was a little bemused by the idea of someone having access to $10,000 too. I thought that when Seinfeld et al. lent each other thousands at a time they were just pulling the old “nobody really lives like this” sitcom thing. But then I remember seeing a friend’s dad’s bank statement when I was still in school; it was the first time I’d seen six figures on a genuine financial document.

    Different people have different amounts of money. I enjoy sleeping, which luckily for me is a pretty cheap pastime.

    • madsci says:

      Having access to $10,000 is not the same as being able to afford spending $10,000! I’m a small business owner, and take in a few times that every month. Pulling out $10k for a day wouldn’t be a big deal (aside from the security risk and the bank paperwork), but it’d have to go right back in to pay the bills. I suspect a lot of business owners are in the same position.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Pretty easy to dig a hole and bury them.

  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting how society is so preoccupied with money. I like how it shows the money much smaller than you’d expect it to be, but it still has huge impact.

  27. paulj says:

    I was a programmer for a Federal Reserve Bank back in the 1980s. Among other things, I did some maintenance work for the system that tracked the cash they distributed. One time I had to go into the vault to check out a problem the clerks were having with their terminal screen. There were lots of pallets with neat stacks of bills; literally millions of dollars were piled up in a small room. It’s funny that when you see that much money in that setting, you think of it as just a bunch of stuff you have to keep track of. The lobby area outside the vault had trophy cases filled with the guards’ marksmanship trophies in case anyone had other ideas.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Money is funny. No really it is. If you take a bunch of bills that have been in circulation and stack them neatly, put them between two blocks of smooth wood, and crank on them with a couple of C-clamps, tightening the clamps over a couple of weeks, you end up with money that is crisp and flat like new bills. Gets a lot smaller that way. I had a friend who used to do this with his cash.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I feel the urge to photoshop some the wrapping bands to the color for 100′s. $1,000,000 sitting on a Hello Kitty bedspread would be a great image.
    Also, yesterday I was watching The Big Lebowski on TV and felt it was improbable that The Dude would be able to easily wave a briefcase filled with $1M cash over his head. Yup.

  30. voiceinthedistance says:

    Not much use without a street address to go with the photos . . .

    I once did a job for a Dutch commercial production company. They have no corporate taxes, so they were well aware of the fact that their money would spend better if they paid vendors in in the US in cash. The producer complained about how hard it was in the US to get $500,000 in cash from a bank, but somehow managed to get it together within a few day’s time.

    My paltry portion of the loot was $27,000, which I was paid in $100 bills. I laid it out on the coffee table for my wife, when she got home from work. For a day, we got to play Columbian drug smugglers with the money.

    Of course, I filled out all the necessary paperwork and never considered making multiple deposits smaller than $10,000, if anyone is wondering. Never.

  31. emmdeeaych says:

    whereas if you have 10k that you can’t put in the bank, you probably are doing it wrong.

  32. allybeag says:

    They’ve got one million pounds, in 20 pound notes, in a display case in the Money Museum in Edinburgh.
    Sadly, they weren’t offering samples.

  33. Anonymous says:

    There’s always money in the banana stand.

  34. cjp says:

    Until 2000, Canadian bills used to come in the $1000 flavour and my husband and I were fortunate enough to see one once a year tucked into the Christmas tree. My father-in-law took great pleasure in them. They always looked fake to me.

    • kibbee says:

      Yeah, I can’t believe that the biggest denomination of currency is $100. My step-dad once showed me a $1000 bill he got from one of his clients. It really was something interesting to see. Probably something I’ll never see again. I didn’t know they discontinued them.

  35. PaulR says:

    I keep forgetting to post this:

    Where can you stash $1 million in $100 dollar bills?

    Um, my place?

  36. Thorzdad says:

    100 dollar dollar bills?

  37. Anonymous says:

    1 million in $20′s is enough to make a nice throne out of. Nuff said.

  38. hadlock says:

    DEA is monitoring the server logs on this post carefully.

  39. sdmikev says:

    sort of. my wife and I drop about 12 or 15 percent into 401K and IRA accounts, so that is basically “untouchable”. then we have a “high interest” online savings account in case of emergencies, etc and a buffer in checking.. Enough to pay the bills for 3 months if we were both drop kicked from our jobs with no severance at the same time.
    So yea, I could grab 10K in ones if I wanted to take a photo, but it’s doubtful I would.. :P

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