Eighth Grader Tries to Pay for Lunch With $2 Bill; Officials Thought it Was Fake

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
May 2, 2016 Updated: May 2, 2016

A girl attempted to buy lunch with a $2 bill, which was flagged by Texas school officials as being counterfeit. They then contacted local police authorities.

The bill wasn’t actually counterfeit—just a bit rare.

Danesiah Neal used a $2 bill at Christa McAuliffe Middle School in Houston, but the school confiscated it, saying it was fake, reported ABC.

Neal, who reportedly never got in trouble at school before, was told by police that she was in big trouble, ABC said.

Sharon Kay Joseph, the girl’s grandmother, told them that the bill was real and it was handed to her at a local convenience store.

Her bill was made in 1953, meaning the school’s counterfeit pen didn’t work on it.

No charges were filed against Neal or Joseph, and police gave it back to her.


“He brought me my $2 bill back,” Joseph told ABC. “He didn’t apologize. He should have, and the school should have because they pulled Danesiah out of lunch, and she didn’t eat lunch that day because they took her money.”

“It was very outrageous for them to do it,” she said. “They’re charging kids like they’re adults now.”

In the 2013-2014 school year in Houston, 40 students were investigated for allegedly using counterfeit money.

The $2 bill, which features President Thomas Jefferson on the front, was first used in March 1862.

The 1862 $2 currency (Kennedy Mint)
The 1862 $2 currency (Kennedy Mint)

The $2 bill has a rather strange history. According to Marketplace.com:

The story of the $2 bill starts in 1862, when the federal government printed its first nationalized paper bills, Bennardo says. The $2 bill was in that first printing, along with the $1 bill, but it took a while for paper money to catch on.

That’s because a lot of folks made less than $15 a month before the turn of the century. Inflation slowly brought the value of paper money down, but then the Great Depression hit. “This was a time when our country did not have much wealth, and a lot of things cost less than a dollar,” Bennardo says. “So the $2 bill really didn’t have much of a practical use.”

The economy recovered, but the $2 bill eventually found itself in a strange price point. It became the the perfect note for some rather nefarious purposes. “Politicians used to be known for bribing people for votes, and they would give them a $2 bill, so if you had one it meant that perhaps you’d been bribed by a politician,” Bennardo says.

In 1966, the U.S. government decided to stop making it, but 10 years later, the Treasury started printing them again.

“There are roughly 1.2 billion $2 bills in circulation right now, and they are still being printed. 75 million came off the press in the last 18 months, but in that same time, around 3 billion new [$1 bills] have come into the world. Out of the $1.2 trillion worth of coins and bills in circulation right now, less than 0.001% are Toms,” says Marketplace.

(H/T – IJReview)

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.