Million Dollar Bill: Do They Really Exist? Can You Spot a Fake?

One Million Dollar Bill Blog Post Cover

Have you ever wondered if a million dollar bill exists? Is it really worth a million dollars?

Can one little piece of paper really make you a millionaire? Here’s what you need to know before you get scammed:

Is there a million dollar bill?

No, there is no million dollar bill that is considered legal tender. The Federal Reserve has never printed a bank note worth $1,00,000 dollars.

However, there are plenty of “fake” million dollar bills out there. You can’t use these novelty bills to pay for things. Their only use is as collectors items or to prank your more gullible friends.

What about the “Certificate Of Authenticity”?

The American Bank Note Company (ABNC) was one of the first companies to sell novelty million dollar bills. They were, and still are, sold by the International Association of Millionaires. The bill comes with a “Certificate of Authenticity” which states:

“This official document certifies that the accompanying MILLION DOLLAR BILL is the authentic, original and genuine MILLION DOLLAR BILL designed and printed by the American Bank Note Company in 1988 for the International Association of Millionaires (IAM).”

Sounds legit right? But it’s not. Below it it also includes the following:

“This unique MILLION DOLLAR BILL is from the Limited Edition of Bills that were printed in serial number sequence and officially issued by the IAM as Collector Series 1988.”

The important part is the “Collector Series”. The bill is purely a collectors item.

Here’s what one of these novelty 1 million dollar bills looks like:

Picture of a novelty million dollar bill

Who is on the one million dollar bill?

Well, since there’s no real million dollar bill. There is no “official” person on the bill.

However, the Statue of Liberty is on the novelty million dollar bill. Mt. Rushmore is depicted on the backside of the bill. You can see what that looks like above.

How is the bill not considered a counterfeit?

The Federal Reserve has said that their legal to own and produce. You just can’t use them fraudulently. They’re not considered counterfeit because no real one million dollar bill has ever been produced.

How much is a 1 million dollar bill worth?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your one million dollar bill is worth nothing. Zilch. Zero.

You might be able to sell it to a collector for a few dollars.

Have people tried to use their million dollar bills?

Yes, and they’ve all been arrested.

In 2004, Alice Pike attempted to use her one million dollar bill which she obtained from her coin collector husband. She used it to try to buy $1671.55 in goods from Walmart. She was arrested. Source

In 2007, Alexander Smith tried to open a bank account by depositing a $1,000,000 bill. The bank teller refused and called the police. Alexander was arrested on a forgery charge. Source

In 2012, Michael Fuller attempted to buy $476 in items from Walmart with a one million dollar bill. After being refused by the teller, he insisted that the bill was real and arrested once the police showed up. Source

These are just three of many stories I’ve found. Moral of the story is that you should always double-check if the bill you have in your hand is real. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

But not all high-denomination bills are fakes. In fact, there are real $500, $1,000, $5,000, and even $10,000 dollar bills.


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