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I got a dollar with a star on it

Somebody at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing screwed up.

Dear Matthew Alice: When I opened my wallet this morning (Christmas morning, no less), I pulled out a dollar bill that had a little star on it — right after the serial number, where a letter of the alphabet would usually be! What does it mean? Is it some kind of secret code to prevent counterfeiting? And since my star-anointed dollar bill seems to be unique, will it be valuable one day (in a biplane- upside-down-on-a-postage-stamp sort of fashion)? Or since the star appeared on Christmas Day, does it portend some great omen? Will the three Wise Men bring me gold and frankincense and myrrh? Will I be lucky?— J02 Lee Zion, USS Kitty Hawk

Thinkin’ maybe you’ve won the Federal Reserve’s equivalent of the Big Spin — five minutes running amok in Fort Knox with a shopping cart? If you’ve taped that bill to the bottom of the toilet tank for safekeeping, I’d suggest you rip it off and take it down to the 7-Eleven and invest it in a Slurpee or something, ’cause all you have is what’s called a star note. It just means that somebody at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing screwed up. As you can imagine, quality control is a major concern when you’re printing currency. When a substandard bill comes off the press, it’s destroyed, then reprinted with the same serial number followed by a star to indicate that it’s a replacement. The bills are unusual, but hardly collector’s items. About 56 million star notes are issued each year, less than one-half of one percent of all bills printed annually. Sorry, Joe, but your life really is tedious and uneventful, just as you suspected all along.

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Dear Matthew Alice: When I opened my wallet this morning (Christmas morning, no less), I pulled out a dollar bill that had a little star on it — right after the serial number, where a letter of the alphabet would usually be! What does it mean? Is it some kind of secret code to prevent counterfeiting? And since my star-anointed dollar bill seems to be unique, will it be valuable one day (in a biplane- upside-down-on-a-postage-stamp sort of fashion)? Or since the star appeared on Christmas Day, does it portend some great omen? Will the three Wise Men bring me gold and frankincense and myrrh? Will I be lucky?— J02 Lee Zion, USS Kitty Hawk

Thinkin’ maybe you’ve won the Federal Reserve’s equivalent of the Big Spin — five minutes running amok in Fort Knox with a shopping cart? If you’ve taped that bill to the bottom of the toilet tank for safekeeping, I’d suggest you rip it off and take it down to the 7-Eleven and invest it in a Slurpee or something, ’cause all you have is what’s called a star note. It just means that somebody at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing screwed up. As you can imagine, quality control is a major concern when you’re printing currency. When a substandard bill comes off the press, it’s destroyed, then reprinted with the same serial number followed by a star to indicate that it’s a replacement. The bills are unusual, but hardly collector’s items. About 56 million star notes are issued each year, less than one-half of one percent of all bills printed annually. Sorry, Joe, but your life really is tedious and uneventful, just as you suspected all along.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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