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Money Facts: Fun Facts About Money in America

Money makes the world go round. The Federal Reserve estimates that there is currently $1.7 trillion in U.S. Currency currently in circulation. We all use it, but how much do we know about it? Here are some off-the-wall interesting money facts that you likely never knew:

A penny costs 2.4 cents to manufacture

Yes, it costs more than two pennies to make one penny, all so that you can get an exact change on a $1.99 candy bar.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing uses 9.7 tons of ink each day

The United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing (also called the “Money Factory”) has two active facilities from which it prints money today. Together these two facilities use a mind-blowing 9.7 tons of ink per day.

5% of the people who buy lottery tickets account for 51% of all tickets sold

Unfortunately, it’s usually not worth it. Someone who drives 10 miles to buy their lottery ticket is 3 times likelier to die en route than they are to win the jackpot.

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Gambling generates more revenue each year than movies, spectator sports, theme parks, cruise ships and recorded music combined

That’s right. This $34.6 billion dollar industry runs the table, beating out Tom Cruise, the Dallas Cowboys, Mickey Mouse, a week in the Caribbean and the Rolling Stones. If all those gamblers learned to play the stock market game instead of donating their cash to casino owners, they might actually have won something.

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94% of bills are contaminated with bacteria

Approximately 94% of paper money that moves from hand to hand is riddled with bacteria. One NYU study found 3,000 types of organisms on just 80 $1 bills — including bacteria linked to pneumonia, food poisoning and staph infections.

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There is more Monopoly money printed every year than actual cash

The popular board game prints up to $50 billion of its currency each year. That’s a lot of dollar bills. By comparison, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing only produced $1.3 billion.

In Monopoly, when you go bankrupt, you lose the game. In real life, though, you don’t get to flip the board and start over. Fortunately, SuperMoney can teach you how to make bankruptcy work for you.

Only 8% of the world’s currency is in physical money

We live in a digital world, so it’s no surprise that only 8% of all the “money” around the world is physical cash. But no need to rush the bank. The digital dollars in your checking and savings account are as real as the cash in your pocket.

Rats ate $2.1 billion of Pablo Escobar’s loose change

Infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar had so much extra cash lying around that he lost an astounding $2.1 billion dollars to rats. Since he couldn’t keep his illegal earnings safe in a bank, he stored them in a warehouse, where rats (with expensive taste!) feasted on 10% of his savings every year.

The largest denomination of U.S. paper currency was the $100,000 bill

hundred thousand dollar bill

The largest bill ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was a $100,000 gold certificate, printed in 1934 and 1935. It was used primarily by banks, and was rarely seen by the public eye.

While the U.S. Mint has printed other impractically large bills (from $500 to $10,000), today, the humble $100 is the largest bill in circulation.

Americans spend $117 billion each year on fast food

According to reports, we spent $51 billion on our beloved pets in 2012, with $310 million of that specifically spent on pet costumes. We also poured out $96 billion for beer, $800 million for Girl Scout cookies, $500 million on twinkies and $65 billion for soda.

Some expenditures aren’t as fun: Americans also spend billions ($104 billion, to be precise) on credit card interest. And with the cost of credit card late fees rising fast, credit card debt gets more expensive every day. Need help digging your way out of credit card debt? A debt consolidation loan can help you get your balance down to zero.

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96% of employed people will not be able to retire at age 65

According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 96% of employed Americans will not be able to collect their full Social Security retirement benefits. To compensate for lengthening lifespans, the Social Security Administration has extended the age that you receive benefits.

If you have $10 in your pocket and no debts, you are wealthier than 20% of Americans

That’s because a high percentage of our population is in debt, with their net worth in the negative. If you’re mired in debt, take hope. Bankruptcy is not the only answer. Debt settlement firms can help you get back on your feet.

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Making the most of your money

Money can be hard to manage! That’s why SuperMoney compiled a list of all the best money management tools on the market. If you start early and invest wisely, you can secure a comfortable future.