Q and A with Hank Eskin
Image used with permission.
Screenshot of the Where's George website. The website, founded in 1998, has had over 230 million bills entered in its database as of April 2014.
By Dominic Aragon
May 1, 2014
Where does your money come from and go after you spend it?
That question pondered Hank Eskin, who went on to start up WheresGeorge.com.
Eskin recently talked with The Racing Experts about his unique website, how it has garnered national attention through outlets including USA Today and The New York Times, and of course, NASCAR.
Dominic Aragon: For those who don’t know who you are, or about Where’s George, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Hank Eskin: “I run WheresGeorge.com, which is a site I created in 1998 to track where currency goes.”
DA: What made you interested in starting up the site?
HE: “I was at work one day, and I was going to lunch in the cafeteria, and I found a dollar bill in my pocket that had a message written around the border that said ‘write this message on ten other dollar bills, and good luck will come to you.’
“I started thinking, and it bothered me. Who wrote this message on the bill, and how did it get to me, and where’s it going to go next. It was sort of an idle curiosity. Over at lunch, I realized each bill has a unique serial number, it’s theoretically possible to track where these things go.”
DA: Talk about how Where’s George got its big break and how it changed your life.
HE: “The site started in December of 1998, and it was a pretty small website, sort of growing organically—word of mouth, though people talking about it.
“In August of 1999, Wired News Online had done a story on Where’s George. Little did I know at the time, [it would generate a lot of traffic].”
DA: What does the future hold for your website?
HE: “Going forward, I’m trying to use technologies that are current today. Nothing really cutting edge, but people are used to dynamic content, Java script.”
DA: So now that we shift gears, talk about NASCAR, and your enjoyment of the sport.
HE: “I enjoy the sport. I’ve only been to one NASCAR race, at Dover. It was many years ago.
We had a box seat, and that was pretty exciting. It was amazing.”
DA: Is it in the cards to go to any races this season?
HE: “I’m afraid to admit, I really don’t follow it that closely. I watch it on TV occasionally, but I don’t really follow, so I can’t say.”
DA: What’s the chance of seeing Where’s George sponsor a racecar?
HE: “It absolutely would be if Where’s George was bigger than it is. It’s just a one-man show, I just run it. There’s no big corporation behind it, no corporate sponsorships, I just can’t afford it. The site generates revenue to keep it going.”
DA: What are some of your hobbies you enjoy in your spare time?
HE: “I’m a car nut. I’m a big BMW fan. I have an E39 M5 that I like playing around with. Where’s George takes up a lot of my time.”
Start tracking your money today at WheresGeorge.com