Type of site
|Money circulation tracker|
|Created by||Hank Eskin|
|Alexa rank||about 4,000,000 (April 2016[update])|
|Launched||February 20, 2001|
Where's Willy? is a website that tracks Canadian paper money — most commonly $5 bills, but also higher denominations. "Where's Willy" is free, supported by users who pay a fee for extra features. The name Willy refers to Sir Wilfrid Laurier - the seventh Prime Minister of Canada whose portrait appears on the $5 banknote.
The free site, established by Hank Eskin, a computer consultant in Brookline, Massachusetts, allows people to enter their local postal code and the serial and series of any Canadian denomination from $5 up to $100 they want to track. Once a bill is registered, the site reports the time between sightings, the distance travelled and any comments from the finders, and anyone who registered the bill earlier learns about it by e-mail and/or text messaging.
To increase the chance of having a bill reported, users write or stamp text on the bills encouraging bill finders to visit whereswilly.com and track the bill's travels.
Since Canada has replaced the one and two dollar bills with more durable coins, the $5 note is the smallest denomination tracked by Where's Willy.
The "Willy Index" is a method of rating users based on how many bills they've entered and also by how many total hits they've had. The formula is as follows:
- "Whereswilly.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-04-17.
- Web Guide Hot Sites, USA Today, April 4, 2003
- $5 Alive, Montreal Mirror, August 25, 2005
- "Where's Willy Summary". Retrieved 2016-04-17.
- CBC News (25 January 2006). "Scientists trace dollar bills for clues to predict pandemics". Retrieved 2007-08-13.