Travelers Left $1 Million in Loose Change at TSA Checkpoints Last Year


Between shoes, luggage, and electronic devices, travelers have a lot to keep track of when moving through airport security lines. It makes sense, then, that many of them can't be bothered to collect their loose coins from the bottom of their bins, but all that small change adds up quickly. As Vox reports, the Transportation Security Administration cashed in nearly $1 million last year in loose change left behind by flyers.

Each year, the TSA releases a report to Congress detailing how much money it makes from unclaimed cash. The most recent numbers reveal that forgotten change has grown into a significant source of revenue for the administration. Travelers left $531,000 at security checkpoints in 2012, and in 2018, they had forgotten $960,105. That includes the pocket change discarded in plastic bins as well as larger bills collected from lost wallets.

Forgotten money doesn't end up in the pockets of whichever TSA agents were working the security line that day. All loose change must be gathered, rolled, and submitted to the TSA's financial office. Per the agency's policy, every cent that's stored, transported, and cashed must be accounted for.

For the past 14 years, the TSA has been able to use these bonus funds to improve services at its discretion. Translated checkpoint signs, TSA pre-check, and enhancements made to the agency's Adjudication Center have all been partially paid for with unclaimed change.

Lost cash may provide a nice financial boost for the security agency, but adding the money to its spending budget isn't its first priority. The TSA encourages travelers to submit claims for any goods they think they left at security, even money.

[h/t Vox]

Chernobyl Creator Craig Mazin Urges Visitors to Treat the Exclusion Zone With Respect

Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Following the success of the HBO miniseries Chernobyl, one tour company reported that bookings to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone located in Ukraine rose 35 percent. Now, series creator Craig Mazin is imploring the new wave of tourists to be respectful when snapping selfies at Chernobyl, Gizmodo reports.

A 2500-square-kilometer exclusion zone was established around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant shortly after its reactor exploded in 1986 and flooded the area with harmful radiation. The abandoned towns are still too radioactive for people to live there safely, but they have been deemed safe to visit temporarily with the supervision of a guide.

Chernobyl has supported a dark tourism industry for years, but thanks to the miniseries, photographs taken there are gaining new levels of attention online. News of influencers posing for irreverent selfies at the site of the nuclear disaster quickly went viral. Mazin tweeted:

Regardless of why people are visiting the site, being respectful in the presence of tragedy is always a good idea. It's also smart to resist leaving a tour group to snap the perfect selfie in some abandoned building: Tour companies warn that breaking rules and wandering off approved paths can lead to dangerous radiation exposure.

[h/t Gizmodo]

A Traveling Harry Potter Beer Festival Is Coming to Several U.S. Cities

If you’ve ever wondered what the alcoholic version of a butterbeer would taste like, you’ll soon have the chance to find out. A series of ongoing Harry Potter-inspired beer festivals are coming to cities across the U.S. in the next couple of months.

According to Rock Star Beer Festivals, which is organizing the event, Muggles and wizards alike will get unlimited samples of 20-plus beers. There will be plenty of adult butterbeer to go around, and for more daring souls, there’s Snape’s Lair of Secret Cider Potions. Is it actually cider, or could it be a polyjuice potion? Attendees will soon find out.

In June, the festival will be coming to Fresno, California on June 21 and New Orleans on June 29. In July, it will head to Philadelphia (July 13) and Boston (July 20). Tickets to the festivals can be purchased through Eventbrite or booked on Rock Star Beer Festivals’ Facebook page under the Events tab. Act fast, though, because tickets—which generally sell for $40 to $45 apiece—regularly sell out.

What else can you expect to see at such a magical event? Rock Star Beer Festivals says the venues hosting the festival will be “transformed into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” with guests being transported to the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and, of course, the Leaky Cauldron. You’ll also get to snap photos with Hagrid and dance to music by the Sorceress Sisters and DJ Dumbledore. Just be careful not to drink and do magic, or you could end up having an accident à la Neville Longbottom.