Otha Anders of Ruston, Louisiana, cashed in a quite a collection of pennies at his local bank earlier this week. After 45 years of saving the coins and storing them in five-gallon jugs, he wheeled his collection in on a dolly to see how much he had.
The News-Star reports that employees at Ruston Origin Bank were happy to help, as Anders has been a long-time customer. The contents of Anders’s 15 plastic containers were hacked open with an ax and a hammer, and took five hours to count. The final tally came to 513,614 pennies, for a deposit of $5,136.14.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) October 28, 2015
Anders, now 73 years old, began saving coins in the 1970s. “I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful,” he said. As his collection grew, he eventually stopped spending pennies altogether, and requested pennies when receiving change after purchases. “I would never spend a penny,” he continued. “I would break a dollar before giving up a penny.”
After freeing the coins from their containers, bank employees poured them into buckets and loaded them through a counter into bags, before shipping the pennies off to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Anders was reluctant to let go of his pennies, but felt compelled to cash it in after his homeowner’s insurance company would not insure the collection. He remained proud of his accomplishment, saying, “I never allowed anyone, not even my wife nor children, to give me pennies without being compensated. I wanted the inner satisfaction that God and I acquired this collection.”