Jerry DuRuz III, third-generation owner of Jerry’s Jewelry & Loans pawn shop, with his wife, Coley, at the store on Highway 99 in Lynnwood. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Jerry DuRuz III, third-generation owner of Jerry’s Jewelry & Loans pawn shop, with his wife, Coley, at the store on Highway 99 in Lynnwood. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Purchase Photo

Stimulus checks are going for guns, guitars and ganja

The $1,200 coronavirus relief payments also provide much needed money for food, rent and bills.

It’s our slice of a $2.2 trillion pie.

The feds want to stimulate our quarantine by doling out $1,200 checks.

What’s up with that?

It is part of the ginormous coronavirus relief package to reboot the economy and the survival of the huddled masses.

About 80 million people will get stimulus checks up to $1,200 for singles and $2,400 for couples.

Out of $2.2 trillion, this might seem like chump change.

Make that Trump change.

President Donald Trump’s autograph is on the memo section of the mailed checks.

It’s sad money and mad money.

Fashion Nova tried to turn the black plague into Black Friday. The online clothing store got a backlash of tweets for its push to get people to spend their stimulus money on clothes endorsed by the Kardashians.

People seem stoked by the sales at pot shops, though. The checks arrived just in time for “Weed Day” on April 20.

That $1,200 windfall will buy a joint a day for eight months. Or a Popeye’s chicken sandwich every day for 10 months. Or both daily for 4.5 months.

The New York Post reported stimulus spenders are buying firearms, sex toys, stripper poles and tigers.

In Lynnwood, hot ticket items are guns, guitars and game systems, said Jerry DuRuz III, third-generation owner of Jerry’s Jewelry & Loans pawn shop on Highway 99 in Lynnwood.

Guns sell because people are scared, DuRuz said. The other items because they are bored.

It’s a good time to score deals on tools and jewelry, which are gathering dust these days at the pawn shop that his grandfather Jerry started in 1964.

It’s an essential business, but foot traffic is down. He cut back hours and extended his grace periods on pawned items.

“If the loan is past due, I’ll hold their stuff,” DuRuz said. “I keep the doors open. I’m doing what I can.”

His wife, Coley, a bartender, was laid off from the Cactus Moon Saloon in Everett. Together, they have eight children, including 18-year-old triplet boys who will graduate from Glacier Peak High School this year.

The couple’s stimulus money will go toward the mortgage, bills and property taxes.

Current, a digital bank, reported customers are spending their payouts with 16% going for food, 14% for money transfers, 10% for gas, 9% at grocery stores and 5% on video games.

Here’s how Herald readers responding to a Facebook post said they were using their bonus bucks:

“Pay the rent.”

“New tires.”

“Billzzz.”

“Boogaloo.”

“Use it to pay for 2019 taxes owed.”

“Holding it to pay this year’s medical insurance deductible.”

“Savings and a nice spa day treatment for mom.”

“Donating and spending the money locally.”

Retired teacher Judith Lowell is among those sharing the wealth.

“I am giving my $1,200 to the closest food banks to where I live, Volunteers of America Food Pantry on Casino Road and Faith Food Bank,” said Lowell, who taught at Snohomish High, Machias Elementary and Seattle Hill Elementary.

“Also, I just added $5 a month to my Herald subscription to go to my paper carrier.”

Thanks a trillion, Judith. Those carriers are a crucial part of the news.

Trillion isn’t a number we use often.

What is it?

A trillion is 1,000,000,000,000, also known as 10 to the 12th power. It’s a million million. A thousand billion.

That tiny $0.2 trillion amounts to $200 billion.

Wait, and all we’re each getting is a measly $1,200?

After trillion comes quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, septillion, octillion, nonillion and decillion, which has 33 zeros.

Gazillion, bazillion and zillion aren’t real numbers, but googol is.

A googol is 1 followed by 100 zeros: 10,000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,000,000,​000,​000,​000, ​000,000,​000,​000,000,000,000,​000,​000,000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000,​000.

Google originated from a misspelling of googol, which was picked to signify that the search engine intended to provide large quantities of information. One share of Google stock will cost you the entire $1,200 check.

To count to a million, at one number per second, non-stop with no breaks, it would take 11 days, 13 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds. In 2007, an Alabama man started with the number 1 and counted 16 hours a day. It took him 89 days to reach 1,000,000. He celebrated by doing the chicken dance.

And yes, kids, you can try this at home during lockdown. Parents can sing “A trillion bottles of beer on the wall …”

To count to a trillion, starting with 1, it would take almost 200,000 years, according to an enchanting children’s picture book, “How Much is a Million?”

The book is $3.99 at Amazon.com. You can buy 300 copies with your check.

A share of Amazon stock is $2,400, so you’ll have to sweet-talk your partner into it.

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

What does $1,200 buy?

• A giant $30 bag of movie popcorn curbside from Galaxy Theatre in Monroe and a giant TV.

• A YMCA couples membership for a year.

• 1,090 things from the dollar store (sales tax, remember).

• A dog or cat adoption and food and vet bills for a year.

• Six trips to Costco.

Double the bang: Donations to Sharing Wheels, a nonprofit that refurbishes bicycles for kids and adults, will be matched through May 6.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Maryville Getchell High School students Madison Dawson, left, Kaden Vongsa and Jenasis Lee, who made a presentation to their school board discussing mental health, lack of resources and personal stories of their peers mental health struggles. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Students plead for better mental health support from schools

Three Marysville Getchell seniors want more counselors and improved training for staff.

Parked tractor-trailers line the side of 40th Avenue NE on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Worker wonders why dead end Marysville road is rough and rutty

A stretch of 40th Avenue NE is mostly used for heavy trucking and isn’t in line for repairs soon.

Camano Island shooting leaves father dead; son arrested

Dominic Wagstaff, 21, was taken into custody late Sunday for investigation of the murder of Dean Wagstaff, 41.

Jean Shumate (left), seen here during a February 2019 school board meeting, will retire June 30 after 20 years at the Stanwood-Camano School District superintendent. (Skagit Valley Herald)
Stanwood-Camano superintendent to retire after 20 years

Jean Shumate has been at the helm longer than any other superintendent in Snohomish County.

An access road leads into plot of land located in north Darrington that could potentially be used to build a 30-acre Wood Innovation Center, which will house CLT manufacturing and modular building companies on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 in Darrington, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$6 million grant is green light for Darrington timber center

The Darrington Wood Innovation Center is set to become a reality — bringing roughly 150 jobs with it.

Two charged in Seattle shooting death of Camano Island teen

A stolen pair of Air Force 1 sneakers may be connected to the killing, according to the charges.

Lilliana (Lilli) Broce
Edmonds Rotary honors Meadowdale junior

Edmonds Rotary honors Meadowdale junior The Rotary Club of Edmonds has honored… Continue reading

A screenshot of a Washington State Bar Association letter responding to a grievance filed against lawyer Michelle L. Rutherford.
Excoriated by judge, prosecutor not punished by boss or bar

Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell disagreed with a judge’s 214-page critique of his employee.

A Marysville Pilchuck football player sports a spear on his helmet as the Tomahawks took on Snohomish in the Wesco 3A Championship Friday evening at Quil Ceda Stadium on November 1, 2019. School district leaders may soon need to consider dropping Marysville Pilchuck High School’s mascot, the Tomahawks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Should Marysville Pilchuck High drop the name ‘Tomahawks’?

A state bill would ban Native American mascots and symbols from schools — unless there is tribal permission.

Most Read