Page last updated at 18:57 GMT, Friday, 24 June 2005 19:57 UK

US man makes $13,000 from pennies

File photograph of a US one cent coin
Coinstar says there is $10.5bn in loose change in US homes

Some people may not consider it worth bending down to pick up a penny, but Edmond Knowles knows their value.

After 38 years of collecting pennies, Mr Knowles has cashed in his collection which totalled a whopping $13,084.59 (7,182.69).

The 1,308,459 one-cent coins - known as pennies - stored in his garage in Alabama, weighed 4,082kg (4 tons).

The 62-year-old said he planned to use the money for his retirement, home repairs and medical expenses.

New collection?

"It takes pennies to make money," he said in a statement. "They're worth something or they wouldn't make them."

Coinstar, a company that maintains coin-counting machines in banks and supermarkets, said Mr Knowles had broken a previous record of 1,048,013 held by a man from Ohio.

Mr Knowles, who runs a petrol station, started collecting pennies in a small jug shortly after getting married in 1966.

The coins soon filled a five-gallon (19 litre) can, then a 55-gallon (208 litre) drum. In the end, the pennies were storied in seven large oil barrels.

However, after years of patient collecting, Mr Knowles said he was tired of the copper coins.

"I don't ever want to see another penny," he said. "Perhaps I'll collect a few dimes."

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