When California real estate agent John Reyes went to Los Angeles to clean out the former home of his father-in-law, he expected to find some trash.
Instead he found some cash: more than 1 million copper pennies, to be specific.
Reyes, a real estate agent in Ontario, California, found the massive amount of moolah ― worth at least $10,000 ― last year in a crawlspace under a home that once belonged to his father-in-law, Fritz, who’d lived there with his brother for decades.
Reyes, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members have spent the last few years cleaning out the home in hopes of renovating it.
But it was a daunting task for one simple reason. “They kept everything,” Reyes told Los Angeles TV station KTLA.
Reyes said the crawlspace was so tight that family members had to get on their knees to reach some of the corners.
“We were trying to do a thorough job,” Reyes said, and, as a result, started finding a bunch of loose pennies before discovering boxes and bank bags filled with pennies made before the U.S. switched from copper to zinc in the 1980s.
After weighing the bags and determining the approximate amount in each bag, the family figured there were at least 1 million pennies in the crawlspace.
But the answer to that question brought up another question: What to do with all the pennies?
Reyes figured they’d take the coins to a Coinstar machine, but that idea was quickly nixed.
“We didn’t want to pay 8%, and there’s no way we can take these all the way [home] to Ontario,” he said.
They tried to exchange the pennies at a nearby Wells Fargo, which didn’t have enough space. Reyes and family then transported the pennies in two trucks to a bank closer to their home only to have that bank refuse to take them as well.
But after bank employees suggested combing through the pennies in search of particularly rare coins, the family decided to put the whole copper kit-and-kaboodle on OfferUp for $25,000 ― which is admittedly more than the face value of the pennies.
“We want to sell them but what we know is there’s this craze on the internet of people looking for a million dollar penny,” Reyes told The Sacramento Bee. “We just want to sell them to someone who knows they could sell them for more than penny value.”
Since OfferUp is set up as a bunch of local sites, Reyes is asking anyone else who may be interested in the pennies to message him via his Instagram page.
However, as KTLA notes at the bottom of its article: You’ll have to figure out how to transport the pennies yourself.