No Ordinary Customer
The trolley wheels squeaked as he walked into the bank. All eyes were on the man pulling the trolley behind him.
The woman behind the counter looked at him in disbelief. How many were in there? He had saved pennies for most of his life – a whole 45 years. He never knew just how much money he would make.
Otha Ander was a supervisor on the Jackson School Board and was passionate about his job. All of the kids love him and he was happy to look after them.
The 73-year-old had a family of his own. But his wife couldn’t help but question one habit that he had had for the last 45 years.
The hobby turned into an obsession that would consume a lot more of his free time than what his wife like.
“I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful, 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 said.
Praying On A Penny
Otha Anders had been collecting pennies for more than 4 decades and had always put his faith in them as he was a religious man. And as he got older his connection to god only felt stronger for it.
It was actually his religion that started the penny collecting. He felt that every penny he found was a gift from God, but he had no idea that he would find many more gifts throughout his life.
Anders didn’t know that after he picked up his first penny, more would keep appearing through his love. This soon became an obsession until he started saving his own pennies for his hobby.
He also started making more and decisions that would give him more pennies. He always made sure that his change had pennies in it. This meant that he soon had more pennies than he knew what to do with.
Anders said, “I would never spend a penny, I would break a dollar before giving up a penny.” When the children he looked after figured out how important pennies were to him, they wanted to contribute.
“I never allowed anyone, not even my wife nor children, to give me pennies without being compensated.” And that he did, he paid them for the pennies they gave him.
Stealing Vs Taking
Anders loved his pennies, they were his prized collection. He explained, “I wanted the inner satisfaction that God and I acquired this collection.”
“If I was at someone’s house and I found a penny, I would pick it up and I would keep it, I will always tell the person that if it was a quarter, I would give it back, but since it is a penny, I’m keeping it”
Seventy Five Gallons
Anders kept his pennies in five-gallon plastic jugs. Soon his collection reached a full fifteen of them!
He probably would have kept his obsession up if he hadn’t figured out some when he had to renew his home affairs. He couldn’t believe it.
Anders knew the game was up, he would have to cash in all of his pennies all because his home insurance didn’t cover penny collection.
He decided to go to the Ruston Origina Bank in L.A. to hand in his pennies. But fifteen 5 gallon jugs are way heavier than you’d think!
The bank employee’s looked at Anders rolling his containers in on dolly’s and stared at him in utter confusion. Their eyes popped as they took in the sight of the sheer amount of pennies.
Anders worried they would turn him away. He approached the questionable expression behind the desk and asked them to cash his pennies in. “How many?”, the woman asked.
Half A Million Pennies
Bank Vice President Jennie Cole told reporters that it was not a typical day at the bank when Anders rolled in with his collection of pennies on a dolly. “I’m not sure exactly”, Anders said. “I would guesstimate about 400-500,000 pennies?”.
The woman stared at him in shock. How would they be able to count all these pennies? But when they finally did, the amount Anders had saved all these years was incredible!
Anders was a longtime, loyal customer who never gave them any problems so immediately knew they wanted to help him. “We value his business, as we do all of our customers,” she said. “But if we can help Anders with his endeavors, we are happy to do so.”
The plastic jugs were hacked open by an ax and hammer. It took at least 5 hours to process his pennies through a coin-counting machine until the sum was revealed.
Anders saved up an incredible $5,136.14 through collecting pennies for 45 years. into his account to go toward a recent dental bill.
For anyone who’s trying to work it out, that’s $114.14 a year, Anders was able to collect by picking up dirty old pennies left forgotten on the side of a street. But what was he going to do with his saved money?
After 45 years of saving, Anders was able to put the money to good use and spend it on a dental bill that had just been issued to him.
Anders collected pennies, not as a sign of greed but as a symbol of faith that he was being looked after by the man upstairs, the universe, the penny god’s, or whatever you might believe in!
It seems like Anders’ steady patience and consistent well-wishing has paid off for him. The extra bonus of income came just in time for him to pay a medical bill.
It is said that the world works in mysterious ways, and for Otha Anders and the result of his penny collection, that motto is certainly true !