So I’m on one of my Googling sorties, as you do. And I come across some committee documentation from a 1998 meeting of the House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Financial Services (Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy.)
I know, I know: could there be something more boring? Well, yes, and your first hint this isn’t your run-of-the-mill meeting is the topic: “Will Jumbo Euro Notes Threaten the Greenback?” And then, barely two paragraphs into his opening statement, Chair Michael Castle throws out this nugget:
Regarding the United States $500 and $1,000 bills already in existence, current estimates of outstanding $500 bills in circulation are about 286,000 notes, or $143,889,500 worth. For $1,000 bills, there are 167,101 notes, or obviously $167,101,000. It is well known that these high value notes were mostly issued to Brett Maverick in the 1880’s for his high stakes poker games.
Obviously, thousand-dollar bills — rare thousand-dollar bills — are cool to begin with, but can you imagine a time when the U.S. Treasury issued notes specifically for one man? For gambling?
Damn, I hope it’s true.