Change for the better: Man cashes in 45-year penny collection worth $5,000

A Louisiana man who collected pennies for almost half a century finally cashed in Tuesday.

With the help of friends and family, Otha Anders wheeled in 15 water jugs full of pennies to the bank in Ruston. The final count: 513,614 pennies, which comes to a little over $5,136, Fox 14 reports.

Anders said he started collecting the coins in the late-1960s. It eventually became so much of a hobby that he would deliberately avoid ever spending pennies.

"I would break a dollar before I would spend a penny," he said.

Anders, 73, reportedly supervises in-school suspended children for the Jackson School Board. He says he finally cashed in because his insurance policy won't cover the collection, according to the News-Star.

It reportedly took five hours for machines to count all the change. Anders says he plans to use the cash to help pay a dental bill.

"Whenever I would see a penny, I would always say a prayer of thanks.  It was a reminder to me to always be thankful," he added.

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