TikTok user Carl Nassib (@carlnassib) posted a viral clip on the popular social media platform that shows him combing through a Bible in his hotel room drawer and finding a couple $20 bills.
In the video, Carl enters his room with a key card and says that he heard other users on the platform have found money inside Bibles at hotels they’re staying at. He attempts to look for money in his and is successful in finding a few bills.
“I saw this thing on TikTok but basically when you’re at a hotel there’s like money in the Bibles. So I’m going through like five dollars whatever, twenty dollars better, but there’s like so much. Look at all this,” Carl says in the clip.
Whether the clip is staged is unclear, but the rumor is one that has persisted well before social media. An Aug. 5, 2009 post on the blog Perpetual Motion covered the phenomenon and the mythos behind it.
The idea is that evangelical Christians, in an attempt to get individuals to read through the Bibles in their hotel rooms, will put money in them to get people to crack them open. The post reads: “This is a rumor which I heard from an Intercontinental Hotels Group exec last week. The story goes that Christian evangelicals put money into hotel Bibles in the hope that people will open and look through the Bible in the hope of finding the money. If there is no money there, well the rumor had the effect that the person has opened the Bible and looked through it, and maybe they will read part of it. If the money is there, then they have given someone a gift.”
In a Reddit post covering the same topic, one user said that if money is left there by anyone, it’s probably by “well intending previous guests” who think that if someone is reading the Bible in a hotel room, they may be at a low point in their life, and that finding a bit of money may perk them up or “bring some faith in humanity.”
Other Reddit users in the comments section of the post speculated that it could be a way for guests to hide tip money for cleaners who come in and tidy up rooms.
A blog post on the site Inflation Hedging also offers up an anecdote from someone who said that they found a one-dollar bill in their Bible during a hotel stay. “In my latest vacation, my friend that I was rooming with pulled out the hotel Bible and found a $1 bill in it. I learned on this trip that this is actually a common occurrence and that it is very common to find $1 or more in a hotel Bible.”
The writer of the post went on to say that this is a way of folks “paying it forward” and that they hoped to continue the trend on their next stay at a hotel room.
TikTokers who viewed Carl’s post seemed to corroborate the incentives behind the hidden Bible cash. User nuggetvacuum420 wrote: “People leave money in certain passages. They figure if you are picking up a hotel Bible you may be going through a rough time and are tryna help.”
@Hausvibes commented that if the intention of whoever left the cash there was to get someone to read the passages the money was left in, they’d feel compelled to take a look: “The next time I see one, and there’s cash. I shall read the pages. Owe em that much”
Others, like @jtwizzzle said that they would take the money without giving the book a second glance: “nah I’m takin that money without reading because it’s like reparations lmao”
If one is hoping to snag some cash from a hotel Bible during their next stay, they may not be as lucky as Carl and others who’ve managed to find cash. Nick Stafford said, “Always check and never anything” and @austenryan46 penned, “not the ones I’ve seen. but I just tore the bag pages out for paper to roll one”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Hassib via TikTok comment for further information.
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*First Published: Dec 12, 2022, 1:46 pm CST
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.