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  • - [Narrator] Open up your wallet and you'd expect to find

  • ones, 10s, 20s, and maybe even a hundo.

  • The last thing you'd ever expect is a Tom,

  • also known as a $2 bill.

  • Here's why:

  • Let me show you the money

  • It was 1862, the federal government had just started

  • printing its first paper money.

  • The first and only denominations were the $1 and $2 bills.

  • And keep in mind, at the time,

  • people were making about $15 a month.

  • To pay using a $2 bill was a status symbol

  • on the wealthiest of Americans could afford,

  • and a lot of the time they used them

  • for under the table transactions like political bribes,

  • prostitutes, and gambling.

  • The Tom ultimately got a bad rap and was deemed unnecessary.

  • In 1966, the government took a 10-year hiatus

  • and stopped printing those bad boys.

  • But in 1976, the government gave them another try,

  • this time classing them up a bit,

  • issuing a special bicentennial bill.

  • A little too classy, some would argue.

  • People began hiding them away as collectors items,

  • leading to less bills in circulation,

  • which brings us to present day.

  • Though rare, Toms are still being printed

  • and there are over a billion in circulation.

  • Most people keep them as keepsakes,

  • though there is a sub-culture of $2 ambassadors

  • who are set on keeping the Tom alive by using them

  • every chance they get.

  • So, the next time you're paying with cash,

  • go ahead, use a Tom.

- [Narrator] Open up your wallet and you'd expect to find

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B1 US GreatBigStory circulation printing government paper money dollar bill

The Nefarious Past of the Two-Dollar Bill

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    許大善 posted on 2019/08/18
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