John McCaslin

Number of real eggs for today's 2008 White House Easter Egg Roll: 7,500

Number of dyed eggs for the egg hunt: 3,200

Number of plain eggs for children to dye: 4,500

Number of tickets issued for the roll: 22,000

New fin

Spent one of the new $5 bills yet?

If not, it won't be long, as the first of the redesigned "fins" featuring the portrait of Abraham Lincoln are now being circulated by the Federal Reserve. Fitting enough, Michael Lambert, an assistant director at the Federal Reserve Board, spent the first new $5 bill on a book of President Lincoln's speeches that he picked up at the Lincoln Cottage gift shop at the D.C. Soldiers' Home.

He says enhanced security features with the new $5 bill will throw a wrench into the country's counterfeiting presses. The redesigned bill has two watermarks — a large "5" in a blank space to the right of the portrait replaces a previous portrait of Lincoln, while a second consists of three smaller "5"s to the left of the portrait.

The embedded security thread, which glows blue, runs vertically to the right of the portrait, while "USA" and "5" alternate along the thread. Otherwise, the "5" has been enlarged, oval borders around Lincoln's portrait and the Lincoln Memorial have been removed and both engravings enhanced, small yellow "05"s are seen throughout the bill, and the bill is now light purple.

As for some trivia: Lincoln established the U.S. Secret Service on the same evening he was assassinated, making safeguarding the nation's currency from counterfeiters the agency's primary mission. Last year, $61.4 million in counterfeit money was passed in the United States.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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