Totally OT: $2 bills

At the toll booth this morning, I gave the attendant a $5 bill for the $2 toll; she gave me back a one- and a two-dollar bill. It’s been so long since I encountered one of these oddities, it actually took me a couple of takes to figure out what was going on (hey, why is she only giving me two bills for $3?). Which makes me wonder: why didn’t the two-dollar bill ever take off?

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  1. Norm Graham wrote:

    I think I read somewhere that not that many US $2 bills were printed and therefore some folks didn’t like to accept them.

    Here in Canada we had lots of $1 and $2 bills until they were replaced with coins. The $1 coin (called loonie because of the loon on the back) and the bigger $2 coin (called toonie) can create quite a weight in your pocket.

  2. judi wrote:

    At least the change wasn’t three Susan Anthony or Sacajawea or now, presidential dollar coins! That’s what you get at any US Park Service machine or in this neck of the woods, the Metro rail line. Right now I’ve got five of them in a drawer. Sixty years ago when I was a kid, a $2 bill was an oddity even then. Actually I thought they had been discontinued but apparently not!

  3. Jim2 wrote:

    There is no slot for them in a cash register, so most stores just redeposit them rather than try to give out in change and recirculate. I did see an interesting attempt at a scam where someone had cut the corners off of several $20 bills and tried to pass the $2 off as a $20 by carefully gluing them on.
    Vending machines won’t take them, either.

  4. Revpaul wrote:

    I saw a $3 bill once . . . sang tenor. :)

  5. SSf wrote:

    The $2 bill makes me think of my papaw, he used to give them to us grandkids because like you say they’re an oddity and there was something more exciting about a weird looking bill. So a few months ago I gladly accepted 5 of them from a cd buyer at our product table, and I just put them up. Maybe I’ll have grandkids one day.

  6. Edie wrote:

    RevPaul…Just once?

  7. David Bruce Murray wrote:

    That’s funny…not funny, ha ha.

    (Sling Blade was awesome!)

  8. thom wrote:

    you can still get them from the Fed. I ordered $300 worth of them thru the credit union and used them for gifts. the kids loved ‘em. I think they’re cool. If you think about it, you can’t buy hardly anything for less than $1, so paying with a $2 bill makes sense.

  9. Dean Adkins wrote:

    Some years ago - when Marshall University was in the Southern Conference - many of the MU fans took $2 bills to spend in Asheville. It was an effort to indicate the financial impact MU fans had on the basketball tourney.

  10. cdguy wrote:

    One Father’s Day, a few years ago, our church gave $2 bills to each father present, and told us, rather than spend them, to put them someplace where we would see them every day, as a reminder that “it takes two … you and God.”

    I thought it was kind of clever. Mine is still inside the medicine chest in the bathroom, so I see it every morning. And you know who’s been snooping in the medicine chest, by who asks about the $2 bill in there.

  11. GH wrote:


    You’re right…..”Sling Blade was awesome!”

  12. SGFAN65 wrote:

    #4 - your post made me laugh out loud !!

    But as #6 inquired - find it hard to believe it was only once !!

    Thanks for the laugh today !

  13. LW wrote:

    Go Marshall! No one wants to carry them around. It just confuses so many.

  14. David Stuart wrote:

    I’m a toll collector on the Ohio Turnpike, and i still get quite a few of those two dollar bills given to me for their tolls.

    Sometimes i will ask a customer if they would like one in their change, but i won’t just give them one without asking.

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