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Man Cashes In Penny Collection After 45 Years (Photos)

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A Louisiana man deposited more than $5,000 into his bank account after collecting pennies for more than 45 years.

Otha Anders, 73, saved his first penny about 45 years ago after finding it on the ground, USA Today reported. He said he kept the penny because it reminded him to pray and give thanks.

"I became convinced that spotting a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive reminding me to always be thankful," Anders told USA Today. "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."

Over time, Anders filled up 15 five-gallon water jugs with more than half a million pennies. He showed up at Ruston Origin Bank one day using a dolly to transport his savings.

Five of Anders' friends and family members helped him and bank employees load the coins from the car into the bank's coin room. The water jugs were hacked open with a hammer and ax.

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"We value his business, as we do all of our customers," bank vice president Jennie Cole said, adding that Anders was a longtime customer. "[And] if we can help Anders with his endeavors, we are happy to do so."

A machine was used to count Anders' coins. After the five-hour process, he ended up depositing $5,136.14 into his account that day, money which he used for a recent dental bill.

Anders was thankful to everyone who helped him with his penny collection, particularly his friend Jack "Domino Kid" Brown.

"Jack saved nickels as I saved pennies and every nickel that passed through my hands I would save for him," Anders explained. "He did likewise with pennies for me."

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"Our exchange became competitive by each trying to outdo the other and consequently our collections -- his nickels, my pennies -- began to multiply," Anders added.

Anders turned his pennies in after learning his homeowner's insurance policy would not cover the collection. Anders let the bank know a week in advance that he would be coming in with a large quantity of pennies.

"It’s shocking, for sure," senior vice president Ryan Kilpatrick told ABC News. "I would say he’s done a lot of collecting over the years."

"If I was at someone's house and I found a penny, I would pick it up and I would keep it," Anders said. "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."

Sources: USA Today, ABC News / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Frededreia Willis/The News-Star via USA TodayNancy Bergeron/Ruston Daily Leader via ABC News

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