Happy Trivia Day! Whose bright idea was it to start the new year off with a day devoted to interesting—but probably useless—details?
Whoever it was, we’re grateful because it gives us the chance to talk about a favorite topic: fun financial trivia.
Of course, money and finances are not trivial pursuits (yes, we went there), so some of the trivia surrounding money matters can be quite eye-opening and educational.
Here’s a sampling of facts for you to savor this Trivia Day:
- In the days when gold and silver were used in coins, the government started putting grooves on the edges of coins so that no one would be able to shave them.
- 95 years ago, $1 had the same buying power as $20.77 does today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator.
- The U.S. city with the best average credit score is Wausau, Wisc. Its 39,000 residents have an average score of 789, according to Experian’s second annual State of Credit list. The city with the lowest average score is Harlingen, Texas at 686.
- In ancient Greece and Rome, the first banks operated in temples and religious facilities. Why? Because they tended to have better security.
- The first institution resembling today’s stock market was founded in 1531 in Antwerp, Belgium.
- What’s the largest amount of money you can have in coins without being able to make change for $1? That would be $1.19—three quarters, four dimes and four pennies.
- Think your life is stressful? According to the Federal Reserve System, a $1 bill will live just 22 months. If you were a $100 or $50 bill, however, your life span would be nine years.
- Personal debt per citizen is about $51,000, if you total all consumer debt (including mortgages, revolving and non-revolving debt) and divide it by the total number of American citizens, according to the U.S. National Debt Clock. Ouch! Makes you want to launch your own personal debt reduction plan, doesn’t it?
- The nickel’s design was actually created by an auto designer. In 1938, General Motors auto stylist Felix Schlag won the contest to design the 5-cent piece, according to the U.S. Mint.