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Wilmington's Plenty of Twenties Looks to Pay It Forward

The Wilmington-based company stashes $20 bills around town, tweeting out their locations for followers to find.

Plenty of Twenties co-founders Rich Cook and Steve Grant. Photo Credit: Courtesy
Plenty of Twenties co-founders Rich Cook and Steve Grant. Photo Credit: Courtesy

Have you gone to CVS in Wilmington to purchase ice recently? If so, you may have been the lucky person to find $20 stashed between two bags in the ice cooler.

Wilmington-based Plenty of Twenties placed the cash in the ice cooler at CVS, one of the latest cash drops in what started as an experiment between co-founders Richard Cook and Steven Grant.

Grant, a Wilmington attorney, said he suspects the $20 bill left at the Wilmington CVS is gone by now, although he hasn't received confirmation from anyone saying they picked up the cash. 

"No one has told me they've taken it, but I imagine it has been found by now," Grant said. "The finder didn't tell me, but no one has told me they went to get it and it wasn't there."

Update: The $20 at Wilmington Memorial Library was found within minutes of the posting of this article. If you weren't lucky enough to find the $20 at CVS, don't worry. Plenty of Twenties dropped a $20 bill Wednesday at the Wilmington Memorial Library inside the back cover of the library's copy of "The Annotated Huckleberry Finn" (photo above). If you're the lucky finder of this $20, be sure to take a photo and let Plenty of Twenties know.

Grant and Cook, who grew up together, launched Plenty of Twenties to see what would happen if they stashed $20 in a random location every day and then announced the location to the public.

"We always had fun arguments over the years and one day we were arguing over how far someone would go for $20," Grant said. "I said if I knew there was $20 sitting under a rock somewhere I would drive to get it."

Grant stashed the first $20, took a photo of where it was hidden and posted it to his Facebook page. Within 90 minutes, a friend had tracked down the cash and posted a photo of their own with their reward. 

The co-founders sat on the idea for a year, and then launched the official Plenty of Twenties website on September 19, 2011. 

Two years and more than $15,000 later, Plenty of Twenties has evolved into a full fledged business that also helps raise funds for charity. 

"I always thought in the back of of mind it had business potential, and obviously that has proven true," Grant said. 

While Grant and Cook were stashing their own money to begin with, Plenty of Twenties now has business sponsors for many of the $20 bills they stash, in return providing publicity for their sponsors.

"At first I just talked to friends who own businesses who I thought would want some exposure," Grant said. "Eventually people who had seen the site who ran a business looking for exposure contacted us."

More recently, Plenty of Twenties teamed up with Eastern Bank to stash Go Pro cameras the bank was giving away, according to Grant.

Plenty of Twenties also makes a $2 donation to their "charity of the month" for every photo sent in by someone who finds a $20 bill they've stashed. Since April, these donations have been made to the One Fund

"We were trying to think of a way we could do more good and encourage people to let us know if they find a $20 bill," Grant said. "If you found $20 and let us know, we give $2 to our charity of month."

If you're lucky enough to come across a $20 bill stashed by Plenty of Twenties, just be sure to let them know you were the one to find it. 

In the more than two years since the Plenty of Twenties launched their website, Grant said what has surprised him most about the business is the reaction of those attempting to locate the cash they stash.

"The reaction of the finders was a surprising thing," Grant said. "There has been no stampeding and no pettiness. A lot of people have told us they've shared the cash, donated it or spent it at a local business. Part of the whole thing is to pay it forward."

If you're wondering how to get updates from Plenty of Twenties on their latest cash drops, follow the company on Twitter, like them on Facebook, sign up for their email blast or download their mobile app for Apple. 

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