Why $2 bills are thought to be bad luck currency – clip from The Two Dollar Bill documentary


The problem with almost all
superstitions is it’s very hard to say exactly when and where a superstition
came about. And we have just such a situation with the $2 bill. But one idea
is that two dollars was the standard bet at racetracks. So racetracks would have
all these $2 bills then they would pay off in two dollar bills, and you could look
like, maybe you were spending too much time at the racetrack, and you might not
want the wife to know it, or it might get you into some trouble. Another claim
about the superstitions of two dollar bills is that politicians sometimes went
around paying $2 for a vote at election time. So having a $2 bill could have
seemed a little incriminating. As best as we can tell that’s just an urban legend.
Politicians have always been bought off, but there really wasn’t a firm notion that
it costs $2 per vote. Another one says that the bill became a bill of, shall we
say ill repute, when ladies of ill repute supposedly charged two dollars for a
trick. That’s not real convincing to me. You’re not getting the $2, you’re paying $2.
So, doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

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