The Story Behind the Extra Dollar / Rupee

The Story Behind the Extra Dollar / Rupee

Why do we add an extra rupee/dollar when gifting?

It comes from Sanskrit: shagun, meaning an auspicious good omen, or a blessing.

A gift of cash or check is given to be a blessing.


There’s a finality with 0s, whereas by giving $51 or $101 we are starting the recipient off to accumulate their next $50 or $100. Zero signifies the end while one signifies the beginning.

The number one represents:

1. A seed, meant to grow the next fortune and bring even more prosperity.

2. The good wishes/blessings/luck remain indivisible (as one is an odd number). Consider it as a bonus to the blessings.

Although this practice originated for wedding ceremonies, anytime there is a monetary gift given, it is customary to give one additional note/coin.


The number 0 was invented in India by a Hindu astronomer and mathematician named Brahma Gupta.