In Runaway Jury (2003), Marlee meets jury consultant Rankin Fitch:

Fitch: What's your price?

Marlee: Ten million. Non-negotiable.

Fitch took out a check:

Fitch: This is made out to cash. Five hundred thousand dollars... ...to walk away from my jury.

What does "made out to" mean?

  • You make a cheque out to the person to whose bank account it is payable. This one was payable in cash so that the money did not have to go through Marlee's bank account. Aug 6, 2021 at 7:50

2 Answers 2


In this context. Fitch is writing a check. That is a written and signed instruction to the bank to pay someone some money from his bank account. Usually you write the name of the person you want to pay on the check. We would say.

This check is made out to Millie J. Frank.

It is (or used to be) possible to write "cash" instead of a name, in which case the bank would pay the check in cash, instead of into a named bank account. That is less secure, but it is also anonymous. See https://www.fiscaltiger.com/making-a-check-out-to-cash/

In the UK, most banks don't allow cheques made out to cash, as they are too much of a security and crime risk. Cheques are now almost completely obsolete in the UK; I've probably written about 2 in ten years. It is possible to make a check out to cash in the USA.

  • 1
    I think most U.S. banks still allow this. Mine does.
    – TypeIA
    Aug 6, 2021 at 9:06
  • Thanks, I've edited.
    – James K
    Aug 6, 2021 at 9:41
  • (UK) 40 years ago, before ATMs were widespread, I used to write a cheque to 'SELF' and take it into my branch to get get cash. Sometimes pubs and shops would 'cash cheques' if they knew you. Aug 6, 2021 at 10:33

A check (British English spelling 'cheque') is made out to whoever or whatever is written in the place for the payee details.

This cheque was made out to CIT England Ltd. A signed cheque made out to 'cash' may, under some circumstances, be exchanged at once for cash in a bank. This can be insecure, so some countries' banking systems no longer allow this to be done.

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