Man Collects Pennies For 45 Years. Even The Bank Was In Disbelief At The Total
Otha Anders began collecting pennies in the late 1960s, something no one thought much about, until he decided to cash them in...
After nearly 45 years of collecting the pennies, he has at last decided to see how much he has saved. But the story gets much more interesting than just wanting to save a penny here and there.
Anders began collecting the coins as a way to remember to pray. Every time he saw one of those copper coins, he would pick it up and remember to be thankful, grateful, give glory to God, and say his prayers.
“I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful,” the 73-year-old tells The News-Star.
And after that, his collection began to grow. He stopped spending the pennies altogether, putting them in five-gallon jugs for safe keeping. His collection became so special to him that he would actually refuse to spend a penny anywhere.
“I would never spend a penny,” he said. “I would break a dollar before giving up a penny.”
And the collection was his and his alone. As a supervisor at a school, his students would attempt to save their pennies for him, but he refused.
“But I never allowed anyone, not even my wife nor children, to give me pennies without being compensated,” he said. “I wanted the inner satisfaction that God and I acquired this collection.”
In the 1970s the government was giving an allowance for pennies. For every $100 turned in, they would give you a $25 bonus. But did Anders cash in? No way. Those pennies, prayers, were too important to him to give up.
Since recently learning, though, that his homeowners insurance policy will not cover the cost of the pennies, he has decided to cash them in.
Five of his friends and family members helped load the 15 five-gallon jugs into the bank to be counted by an automated machine, taking over five hours to do. Hacking each jug open with an ax or hammer, he sat patiently as the dollars added up.
Finally the counting was done and Anders walked away with over a half a million pennies that day, totaling $5,136.14! He says he will use the money to pay some dental bills.
“There have been days where I failed to pray and more often than not, a lost or dropped penny would show up to remind me.”
To see Otha Anders' full story, check out the video below. (Video may not load on certain mobile browsers.)
So next time you see a penny on the ground or in the supermarket, will you pick it up and pray?
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