The popularity of “Hamilton” the musical may have helped save its namesake from being bumped from the $10 bill.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury is weighing a currency redesign that will finally feature a woman on a paper note. The redesign was originally meant for the $10 bill, which features Founding Father and national banking champion Alexander Hamilton.
But Hamilton's recent surge in popularity -- sparked by the hit Broadway musical -- means an iconic American woman is now expected to replace (a far less deserving) Andrew Jackson on the face of the $20.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew could make a formal announcement as early as this week, CNN Money reports.
The treasury announced in 2013 plans to unveil a new $10 bill in 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The Treasury had determined the $10 should be the next bill to be redesigned to stay ahead of counterfeiting.
But some balked at relegating the first woman on a paper note of U.S. currency to the rather infrequently used $10. The grassroots group Women On 20s was among those pushing for a woman to appear on the $20, which is the third most-circulated note behind the $1 and the $100.
Support for Hamilton keeping his place on the ten-spot swelled after the musical "Hamilton" became a smash hit last summer. Its creator and star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, reportedly lobbied Lew to keep the nation's first treasury secretary in place.
Though Hamilton fans are likely to be happy with the Treasury's forthcoming announcement, those eager to see women on paper currency could be left waiting longer. A source told CNN even if the female-focused currency redesign survives Lew's successor, the wait will be significant.
"The soonest that a new $20 note will be issued is 2030," the source said, citing the lengthy process of approving the design and incorporating anti-counterfeiting features.