A Penny SavedIs $13,000

Station owner cashes in more than 1.3 million cents

FLOMATON, Ala. -- In a business that comes down to pennies on the gallon, a penny is not to be taken lightly. And Coinstar Inc. customer Edmond Knowlesowner and manager of Ed's Service Station in Flomaton, Fla.broke the world's record of the largest-ever single cash-in of pennies, totaling 1,308,459 pennies ($13,084.59).

The cash-in took place at the Flomaton, Ala., Escambia County Bank's Coinstar machine.

The pennies, which Knowles stored in four 55-gallon and three 20-gallon oil barrels in his garage, weighed more than 4.5 tons. [image-nocss] The collection set a new world record as well as broke Coinstar's existing record for the most pennies cashed in by a customer.

The previous Coinstar record was 1,048,013 pennies ($10,480.13) set in November 2004 in Barberton, Ohio.

Knowles started his collection because he appreciated the value of a penny. It takes pennies to make money. They're worth something or they wouldn't make them, he said. But after 38 years, he's tired of Lincoln heads. No, I don't ever want to see another penny...perhaps I'll collect a few dimes.

He started collecting to create his own retirement fund to supplement his social security. Knowles plans to use the new found wealth for retirement, home repairs and emergency medical expenses. He has been collecting pennies since shortly after he got married in 1966. Initially, he started collecting and adding to a small jug when he was an employee at the station where he has worked since 1962 and owned sine 1986.

After he became owner, he had additional help by swapping out pennies from store business each day and contributions from family/friends that saw his jug turn into a five-gallon can, then a 55-gallon drum.

When his wife suggested he should cash them in while he was still able, they realized it would take some time and effort. His local bank, Escambia County Bank, was coincidentally in the process of installing a Coinstar machine, which was provided through Financial Supermarkets Inc., Coinstar's marketing partner for financial institutions.

Coinstar, a leader in self-service coin counting with patented technology, has more than 12,000 kiosks. The units count up to 600 coins per minute, saving consumers the time and effort of sorting and rolling their accumulated coins.

Coinstar said it estimates there is more than $10.5 billion in loose change sitting idle in American homes. To date, Coinstar has helped consumers in more than 290 million transactions convert their loose change into more than $10 billion in spendable cash.

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