By liza / Sep 15, 2022
He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the total amount. Was the woman messing with him? How was this even possible?
He had saved pennies for over 40 years just for fun. But he never knew just how rich they would make him.
Otha Ander worked as a supervisor on the Jackson School Board and took his job very seriously. He liked working there, and all of the children loved him.
The 73-year-old lived with his wife in a small house near his workplace. He was obsessed with collecting pennies, something his wife couldn’t help but question.
Ortha’s hobby consumed a lot of his time, and his wife didn’t like it. “I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful,” Ortha explained.
“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.”
Ortha had been collecting pennies for 45 years, believing it strengthened his connection to God. However, it was actually his religion that started the penny collecting.
Ortha felt that every coin he found was a present from God, but he had no idea how this innocent hobby would affect his life.
After Ortha picked up his first penny, many more would appear at random places in his house and on the street. Soon, his hobby became an obsession.
Every important life decision would give Ortha more pennies. He always ensured that there were a few pennies in his wallet, too.
He made sure that his change always had pennies in it. “I would never spend a penny, I would break a dollar before giving up a penny.”
When the kids at his workplace learned about his hobby, they also wanted to contribute. However, he never allowed them.
Paying For Pennies
Ortha paid the children for the pennies they gave him. “I never allowed anyone, not even my wife nor children, to give me pennies without being compensated.”
For him, his pennies were his prized collection. He did not allow anyone to touch them.
“I wanted the inner satisfaction that God and I acquired this collection,” Ortha explained.
“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.” However, he knew that one day he would have to cash in all of his pennies.
Handing Them In
He decided to hand in all of his pennies to the Ruston Origin Bank in L.A. When the bank employees saw fifteen 5-gallon jugs filled with pennies, they stared at Ortha in utter confusion.
He asked them to cash his pennies in. “How many?” an employee asked.
Not A Typical Day
“It wasn’t a typical day at the bank when Anders rolled in with his collection of pennies on a dolly,” Bank Vice President Jennie Cole told reporters.
“I’m not sure exactly,” Ortha said. “I would guesstimate about 400-500,000 pennies?”.
The woman was in complete shock. Where did he get all these pennies from? How would they be able to count them all?
But when they finally counted all the pennies, the amount Ortha had saved in 45 years was astonishing!
Ortha had a stellar reputation at the bank and was a loyal customer. So, the employees didn’t think twice before helping him.
“We value his business, as we do all of our customers,” an employee said. “But if we can help Anders with his endeavors, we are happy to do so.”
Counting The Pennies
They opened the plastic jugs with a hammer and ax. It took them over 5 hours to count Ortha’s pennies using a special coin-counting machine until the final amount was revealed.
He saved up $5,136.14 in four decades! Ortha couldn’t believe his luck. He didn’t expect the number to be so high.
Ortha had saved $114.14 each year by picking up dirty pennies on the street and around his house.
He decided to spend the money on a dental bill that he had recently received. He also explained that he didn’t collect pennies as a sign of grief but as a symbol of hope that God was looking out for him.
His steady patience and consistency have paid off for him. Now, he doesn’t have to worry about the medical bills anymore.
If this money was yours, what would you spend it on?