A literal penny pincher cashed in his pennies after saving them for 45 years. Otha Anders, 73, is the embodiment of the famous proverb coined by Founding Father Benjamin Franklin: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
“I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful,” said Anders. “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.”
Anders, from Ruston, Louisiana, filled 15 five-gallon plastic water jugs with around 500,000 pennies. USA Today reports the total amount of money he collected was $5,136.14.
Anders first started collecting pennies after he found one on the ground and decided to save it as a reminder to pray and give thanks.
From then on, he made sure to save every penny he received as change back on a purchase. In the 1970s, the U.S. government offered a $25 bonus for every $100 worth of pennies turned in, but Anders refused.
Ruston Origin Bank Vice President Jennie Cole said the bank was happy to help Anders, who is a longtime customer, although the scale of the number of coins made for an unusual day at the bank, according to The Root.
“We value his business, as we do all of our customers,” Cole said. “But if we can help Anders with his endeavors, we are happy to do so.”
It took five hours for the bank’s machine to count all the pennies. Anders sat next to the machine while it counted. Bank employees had to change the bag every 20 minutes because the machine’s bags must be changed after every $50.
“Anders will inform us on where he wants the cashed-in money to be placed,” she said.
Cole says the bank will receive credit after sending the pennies to the FDIC. However, she would never follow Anders’ lead.
“I would never spend a penny,” Anders said. “I would break a dollar before giving up a penny.”
Anders pragmatically used the extra cash to help pay a dental bill.
Anders, who supervises children during their in-school suspensions, hopes his students learn from his penny pinching ways.
“But I never allowed anyone, not even my wife nor children, to give me pennies without being compensated,” said Anders. “I wanted the inner satisfaction that God and I acquired this collection.”
Sources: USA Today, The Root / Photo credit: Frededreia Willis/The News-Star via USA Today