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Million Bazillion

Million Bazillion

This is a podcast about money for kids and their families from Marketplace, in collaboration with ?Brains On!? Co-hosts Jed Kim and Bridget Bodnar answer the awkward, uncomfortable and sometimes surprising questions that kids have about money. Described as ?a godsend for anyone who knows a little kid with big questions about money? by The New York Times, each episode tackles one big money idea, from how to negotiate to who invented money.

?Million Bazillion®? is made possible in part by The Ranzetta Family Charitable Fund and Next Gen Personal Finance, supporting Marketplace?s work to make younger audiences smarter about the economy. This podcast is presented by Greenlight, the debit card and investing app for kids and teens.


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Why do prices end in $0.99?

Ever notice how lots of prices at the store end in $0.99? So did Eli from Philadelphia, and he asked us to find out why. Turns out, it?s a method retailers use to get us to buy something ? and it?s not their only one. This week, we?ll learn about how our brains work when we?re shopping, why it?s hard to resist a sale and some of the ways physical stores encourage us to spend a little more money. Let us know what you thought about this season and what you want Jed and Bridget to do next! You can reach us at the transcript here.
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Why are jobs so important?

Having a job is how we earn money to pay for the things we need. Money is important but it?s not the only reason people work. This week we?re going out to the pizzeria, where we?ll learn how every job is connected to lots of other jobs ? and how those connections keep our economy running. Plus we?ll hear from a bunch of people with cool jobs that you probably didn?t even know existed, and we?ll ask a group of kids to tell us about the jobs of their dreams. Got a money problem you need help solving? Tell us about it at

Read the transcript here.

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What is the stock market?

Companies need money to grow, and there?s a way for them to get it: the stock market. They can sell a little piece of their company, called a share or stock, to regular people. If the company grows, those people get to keep some of the money it makes. Of course, there?s no guarantee that a company will grow ? that?s what makes putting your money in the stock market risky. On this week?s episode, we?ll explain how it all works with the help of some Dutch spice traders, comfy sneakers, a bull ? and a bear! Got a money problem? Tell us about it at the transcript here.
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Why is our money green?

This week we?re tracking down answers to a bunch of your questions about why money looks the way it does. A lot of you were curious about stuff like why American money is green, why other countries have more colorful currency, and who decides whose picture goes on each bill. We?ll get you all those answers ? and more! Plus, we?ll meet a museum?s money curator, learn about the way money art protects us from fakes and think about how we’d design our own money … if anyone asked us.

Read the transcript here.

P.S. We want to hear your jokes about money. Click here to send us a voicemail!

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Why can girls? things cost more than boys? things?

One of our inquisitive listeners, Isabella, noticed when she was shopping online that women?s clothing was more expensive than men?s clothing ? and she thought that was unfair. Turns out, it happens a lot.

The same or really similar items, from school supplies to sports equipment, often cost more when they?re designed to look like they were made for girls. People have taken to calling this phenomenon the ?pink tax.? This week, we?ll learn more about why it happens and what?s being done about it. We?ll also ask some random kids a not-so-random money question, and Bridget will introduce us to her new smart speaker ? which has oddly great taste in music.

Don?t forget: We want to hear from you about your money problems! Go to for instructions on how to send us a voicemail.

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The history of banks

When banks first started thousands of years ago, they were known as places to borrow money, not to keep your own money safe. Through loans, they?d provide funding to farmers or traders to help them with a project ? like building a fence or traveling to another country. Borrowers often had to leave something valuable with the bank until they paid off the loan. To keep all that valuable stuff safe, banks became supersecure. That made them great places for everyday folks to deposit their money.

This week, we?ll learn about the history of banks and how they work today and why they don?t work for all of us. Our old friend Bill Maurer will help us sort it all out, while Jed and Bridget see if they have what it takes to run their own bank.

Read the transcript here.

Don?t forget to send us your questions about money at!

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Taxes pay for the things we care about

Back in Robin Hood?s day, tax-collecting sheriffs forced people to pay money to a king, who decided how those taxes were spent. These days our tax system works a bit differently. We get to vote for people who?ll spend that money on things we care about ? like schools and libraries, health care for elderly people, police, parks, sewers and so on. With the help of a rambling troubadour and a tax policy expert, Jed and Bridget teach Robin Hood that the way tax dollars are spent today reflects what we prioritize as a society. Plus, we?ll ask random kids some not-so-random questions.

Read the transcript here.

Sign up for our bonus newsletter to get a tip sheet, episode extras and cool comics about each week?s episode! It’s all at!

Keep sending us your questions about money at!

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How is money made? Let?s head to the U.S. Mint!

We?re back for our second season! Thanks for sending in so many great questions about money. One that a whole bunch of you wanted to know more about is how money is made. To help us find out, Jed called his old economics teacher, Ms. Grizzle, who took us on a very hands-on field trip to the factory that stamps out U.S. coins. Plus, we talked to an expert about all the ways that money moves through our economy. You may never look at coins the same way again!

Read the transcript here.

Sign up for our bonus newsletter to get a tipsheet, episode extras and cool comics about each week?s episode! It’s all at!

Keep sending us your questions about money at!

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“Million Bazillion” is back for season 2!

Calling all Bazillionaires! Jed, Bridget and the gang are back for brand-new episodes of “Million Bazillion”! This season, we’re answering one tough money question each week from real kids! Questions like ?How is money made?? ?Why are women?s clothes sometimes more expensive than men?s?? ?How do banks work, anyway??

And for season two, we?re putting out a bonus email newsletter for kids and their grownups. Each week you?ll get a tip sheet, episode extras, and cool comics all about that episode?s big question. Sign up at

The fun starts June 22. Here’s a sneak peek.

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Jed and Bridget need your help!

Hey, Million Bazillionaires! Jed and Bridget are hard at work on season two of our show. But to get it over the finish line, we need a favor (or two)! Kids, we need your money questions! You can send them to us, with a grown-up’s help, here. Grown-ups, we need your help closing a funding gap for our new season! Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar at! Please help us reach our $50,000 goal!

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Secrets for starting a business

There are lots of great reasons to want to start a business: solving a problem, pursuing a passion, even making some money. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and even if you do everything right, it may not work out. But that doesn?t necessarily mean you failed ? thinking through a business idea can build some really great skills! This week, we talk with a bunch of expert kids and grown-ups about turning an idea into a full-blown business. Plus, Jed bakes us some cookies! And just because the season is over doesn?t mean we don?t still want to hear from you! Keep sending us your questions about money at!
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Saving money is really hard to do

Jed?s treehouse needs repairs, but it?s gonna cost more than he has right now. Saving money can be tough ? and even tougher to talk about! So this week on the show we?re gonna get the conversation started and learn a few ways to think about spending and saving our money. We?ll sit down with some experts, do some mythbusting around saving and hear from a young Dollar Scholar who?s got a unique way of keeping track of her savings. Plus, singer Natasha Bedingfield?s got a cheeky idea for a twist on the piggy bank. Don?t forget to send us your questions about money at!
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Ads are there for a reason ? to sell you stuff

Advertisers have lots of ways of persuading us to buy their stuff. Sometimes you might not even realize it?s happening ? until you find yourself riding around town on an ice-cream-making scooter. (Don?t worry, we?ll explain.) This week on the show, we?ll learn how to spot an ad and identify the tricks they use to win you over. And we?ll learn how to defend against them ? from our special guest, Captain Kimberly. Plus, this week?s Dollar Scholar shares great ways you can help out in your community. Don?t forget to send us your questions about money at!

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The price of pizza

There?s a reason things cost what they do ? sneakers, pizza, you name it. Businesses put a lot of thought into how much they charge, because they have to consider their behind-the-scenes costs. But you might put just as much thought into what you?re willing to pay ? so in a way, you get the final word on whether the prices are right. This week on the show, we?ll talk about how we value the things we buy. Plus, two Dollar Scholars talk to each other about their saving and spending habits, and we?ll hear pastry chef Duff Goldman?s idea for a pizza rover. Don?t forget to send us your questions about money and your ideas for what businesses you wish existed at!

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Negotiation is a super important skill

This week, we?re learning how to get what you want through negotiation. It?s about empowering kids ? and hopefully avoiding big, nasty arguments ? by employing new skills like active listening and compromise. We?ll use those skills to help our friend Ruby, who wants her parents to get her a new smartphone. Plus, we?ve got some great knock-knock jokes, and LeVar Burton tells us whom he wants to see on U.S. currency. Send us your questions about money along with your money designs to!
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Where did money come from?

For our very first episode, we?re traveling back thousands of years to learn about all the ways people got what they needed from each other before money was invented: bartering with whatever they had, making pacts with close friends and eventually inventing coins and other forms of money! Plus we?ll ask some random kids not-so-random questions, and Kristen Bell designs her own money.

By the way, we want to keep answering your questions about money! Send your questions and your money designs to

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Introducing Million Bazillion!

Marketplace’s first-ever kids podcast is out next week! In collaboration with ?Brains On!,? “Million Bazillion” helps dollars make more sense. We’re tackling the big questions, like: Who invented money? How do you get your parents to agree to buy something you want? How do advertisers make you want what they?re selling ? and how do you take your brain back? And why do things like pizza cost what they do? Host Jed Kim will help answer all these questions, with help from super-smart experts, kids and some famous friends. The first episode drops July 21! Here’s a trailer.

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