Family discovers roughly 1 million copper pennies while cleaning out Los Angeles home
By Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY,2023-06-09
What would you do with 1 million pennies?
That's the question facing John Reyes and his wife after a discovery they made in her father's former home in Los Angeles.
The pennies were found in a crawlspace in the basement while the family was cleaning out the home in Los Angeles' Pico-Union neighborhood, according to KTLA.
Reyes and his wife, Elizabeth, along with her sister, her cousin and their spouses, have been cleaning out the home with plans to renovate it. Elizabeth's father, Fritz, and his brother, both German immigrants, lived in the house for decades until Fritz died and his brother moved away.
“They kept everything,” Reyes told KTLA, adding that it’s taken several years with their busy schedules to get the place clean and ready for renovations.
They first spotted some loose pennies, which led to boxes, which eventually led to the discovery of dozens of bank bags filled with the coins.
Reyes said the family was in disbelief at what they were looking at.
The family members confirmed the pennies were copper and not zinc, which the United States switched to in 1982 .
They weighed the bags to determine how much each bag contained and came to an estimate: at least 1 million pennies.
“‘We’ve got to take these to Coinstar,'” Reyes recalled thinking at the time, but they quickly changed their minds. “We didn’t want to pay 8%, and there’s no way we can take these all the way [home] to (Ontario, California).”
After months of struggling to find a bank that would take that many pennies, Reyes listed the coins on OfferUp, a popular resale app and website, asking for $25,000.
Reyes has received piecemeal offers but no offers to take the pennies completely out of their hands.
“The value is in the uniqueness,” Reyes told KTLA, and taking less than their full value would go against the ideals of his father-in-law.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Family discovers roughly 1 million copper pennies while cleaning out Los Angeles home