One of the comments to my earlier post about the price of Super Bowl Ads referred to $2.5 million as ‘a ton of money.’ This got me to thinking — how much does a million dollars weigh? I poked around the web a bit and found a site that claimed that a dollar bill weighs one gram. But you can’t really trust random stuff that you read on the internet, now, can you? So I decided to investigate this myself…
While it might have been easiest to drop by the bank, withdraw a million bucks, and weigh it, I didn’t have time to get to the bank. 😉 So I did the next best thing… I weighed some money (a lot less than a million dollars) and then whipped out a calculator. First off, how much does a dollar bill weigh? I weighed ten singles and found that the internet was right. They weighed in at a total of 9.83 grams, just shy of a gram apiece (I’m assuming that these were a bit light due to wear and tear).
So, a million bucks in one dollar bills… That would be one million grams, a thousand kilograms, or one metric ton. Don’t you just love the symmetry of that? A million bucks weighs a metric ton. But we’re in the United States, so we need to do a bit more math. A kilogram is roughly 2.2 pounds, so 1000 kg works out to just a bit over 2200 pounds. According to a handy-dandy unit converter that I ran across, it’s actually 2204.622622 pounds, but we’re not doing rocket science, so we’ll just call it an even 2200.
Keeping in mind that a US ton is 2000 pounds, we can conclude that a million dollars would weigh in at roughly 1.1 US tons. So that means that you would’ve had to tote 2.75 tons of one dollar bills down to ABC headquarters if you had wanted to buy a 30 second Super Bowl ad. But not everyone hauls around their millions in one dollar bills. If you opted for $100 bills, we’d be talking about 10 kg/million (just a bit over 22 pounds), which is nowhere near a ton (US, metric or otherwise).
So there you have it. A bit of useless trivia to brighten your day.
Update: Yes, a check would be lighter. Much, much lighter. But everybody knows that checks and identity theft go hand in hand. So… I definitely think it’s worth the trouble to carry around all those singles instead. 😉