Coin lover turns in nearly $8,000 worth of pennies

Posted: Friday, August 03, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A coin processing company said an Anchorage man broke its record by cashing in 792,141 pennies at its supermarket-based coin-counting machines.

Sylvester Neal, 57, cashed in 792,141 pennies, or $7,921.41, at local Coinstar machines, more than doubling Coinstar's record set in January of 310,928 pennies processed in Baltimore.

Neal had an estimated 978,541 pennies collected since he was a child.

Neal already had cashed in $5,000 in $500 batches brought to machines in Anchorage.

Coinstar heard of his efforts and hired an armored car to transport Neal's pennies to a Carr's store Thursday morning. When he concluded at 7:45 p.m., he had processed 288,141 more pennies.

Neal decided to cash in most of his collection after making plans to move from Anchorage to Auburn, Wash. He said the five-ton collection was too expensive to move.

Neal is a retired state fire marshal and a retired safety coordinator for the Anchorage Daily News.

Neal is keeping about 200,000 pre-1974 pennies.

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