by Björn Schope
translated by Annika Backe
December 17, 2015 – “A penny saved is a penny earned.” This is the motto by which U.S. American citizen Otha Anders lives: For 45 years, the teacher in Ruston, Louisiana (USA), did not miss a single cent, whether he found it lying on the floor or received it as change. Not even in the 1970s, he cashed in his then still young collection, when the U.S. government offered a 25 dollar bonus for every 100 dollar worth of cents turned in.
Anders had a philosophical approach to the coins he hoarded: “I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped cent was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful.”
His friends and acquaintances gladly contributed with small change. Anders, however, always made sure to pay them the equivalent in return. He did not want to take the coins as a gift, as he explained to some newspapers: “I wanted the inner satisfaction that God and I acquired this collection.”
Over the decades, the keen collector filled fifteen five-gallon plastic water jugs with coins. Then, however, his insurance company refused to cover the value of the collected cents any longer. Accompanied by his friends, Anders heavy-heartedly took his Pickup and brought the fruit of his collecting to the local bank. The staff there helped the long-standing customer and resorted to axes and hammers to hack the jugs open. It took five hours for the coin machine to count the cents turned in. The end result amounted to 513,614 cents which the bank will forward to the central unit. Otha Anders is given 5,136 dollars which he plans to put toward a recent dental bill.
The news was also published on ABC News