Man collects pennies for 45 yrs leaving bank tellers at a loss for words when he arrives to cash in
Throughout our lives, many of us have found ourselves collecting something, whether it’s stamps, coins, or even seashells. However, one man’s penny collection is nothing short of extraordinary, having amassed over 500,000 pennies over a period of 45 years.
Otha Anders, a teacher from Louisiana, started collecting pennies in the late 1960s not for their monetary value, but simply because he enjoyed it. Despite a government program offering $125 for every $100 of pennies turned in, he refused to part with his collection, as he found them to be more valuable as reminders to stop and say a prayer.
Anders believed that finding a penny on the ground was a God-given incentive to be thankful for what he had, and it became a habit for him to stop and pray every time he spotted a penny. He found that the presence of a penny in his sight often reminded him to be grateful, and so his collection became more than just a hobby – it was a daily reminder of the blessings in his life.
As his collection grew, Anders began filling up giant water jugs with the coins, with the initial goal of filling five five-gallon jugs. However, once he achieved this goal, he felt compelled to keep going, and ended up filling 15 jugs in total. The sheer volume of pennies meant that he had to go to the bank to turn them in, a task that took over five hours as the jars had to be opened with an ax.
The bank that Anders had been a customer of for years, Origin Bank in Ruston, Louisiana, was happy to help him with his endeavor. However, it wasn’t an easy task to handle, with Vice President Jennie Cole admitting that “We value his business, as we do all of our customers. But if we can help Anders with his endeavors, we are happy to do so.” After the coins were counted, it was determined that Anders’ collection was worth thousands of dollars, a significant sum for something that began as a simple hobby.
What’s more, Anders didn’t accept pennies from anyone else as gifts, even his wife or children, as he wanted the satisfaction of knowing that he and God had acquired the collection together. For him, the intrinsic value of the coins was worth far more than their monetary value.
In the end, Anders collected over 513,000 pennies, totaling a little over $5,000. While this may not seem like a large sum, the value that the collection held for him was immeasurable. His story serves as a reminder that sometimes the most valuable things in life cannot be measured in dollars and cents.