Can you make change for a $1,000?
This story seems a little hard to believe.
A Tennessee woman claims to have found $97,000 in a central Tennessee restaurant last week, then returned the money to its owner. Billie Watts, 75, of Murfreesboro, said she found a bundle of neatly stacked $1,000 bills in the restroom of a Cracker Barrel.
According to an Associated Press report, Watts said she and her husband took the money home, but later called the restaurant back and asked if there was a lost-and-found department. She was told yes, and left her number.
A woman called a short time later and verified she was the owner by identifying pictures left in the bag. Watts returned the bag to the owner, whom she described as an elderly woman, but said she does not have the woman’s last name or phone number, the AP reported.
Neither the police nor Cracker Barrel employees could verify the story.
Judging from news stories, Watts seems like a nice person, but this story, unfortunately, seems highly improbable. The Treasury Department stopped printing $1,000 bills, which feature President Grover Cleveland, in 1945, and circulation of high-denomination bills was halted in 1969 by President Richard Nixon, to try and fight organized crime.
There are actually several $1,000 bills currently available on eBay, but most are priced at $1,500 or more apiece. If this is a true story, let’s hope the elderly woman Watts claims to have returned the money to isn’t simply passing the bills off at the local Gas-and-Go.