Family Finds 1 Million Copper Pennies While Cleaning Out Home

KRON 4 News / John Reyes

Money, money, everywhere, but what on earth do you do with a million pennies? That’s the question facing one California family who stumbled upon a treasure trove of copper coins while cleaning out their father’s former home.

John Reyes, a realtor hailing from the Inland Empire, and his wife Elizabeth were in for a surprise of epic proportions when they discovered over a million pennies in the basement of her father’s former abode, nestled in the historic Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The house, dating back to the early 1900s, has quite the story to tell. Rumor has it that it once served as a charming bed and breakfast, lending an air of mystery to the discovery. The previous residents, Fritz and his brother, were German immigrants who had made this house their sanctuary for several decades. But time takes its toll on us all, and eventually, Fritz passed away, leaving his brother to move on.

With a plan to renovate the house and breathe new life into its historical bones, John and Elizabeth, along with other family members, embarked on the arduous task of cleaning out the cluttered home. It was a Herculean effort, as the dwelling was packed to the rafters with items of varying significance. However, amidst the chaos, they stumbled upon a hidden passage leading to the basement’s deepest corners.

What they found there was nothing short of astonishing. Initially, it was just a few loose pennies, their paper rolls long deteriorated from years spent in the basement’s dampness. But those loose pennies were merely the tip of the iceberg. Crates turned into boxes, and boxes led to the discovery of multiple bank bags filled with ancient pennies. Some of these banks were no longer even in existence, making the discovery all the more intriguing.

The family’s excitement soon turned to bewilderment. How on earth would they deal with hundreds of thousands of pennies weighing several pounds each? After some quick calculations, they estimated that they had stumbled upon a whopping one million pennies! The question loomed large: what to do with such an immense number of coins?

The first thought was to cash them in using a Coinstar machine. However, the prospect of losing 8% of their hard-earned fortune to fees quickly dampened their spirits. Moreover, transporting a million pennies all the way to Ontario seemed like a Herculean task in itself. So, the family turned to local banks for help, only to find themselves met with raised eyebrows and excuses.

Undeterred, they loaded their trucks with bags upon bags of pennies and made the slow and steady trek to Ontario. There, they faced another roadblock. Their local bank was not interested in taking the pennies off their hands, advising them instead to search for rare coins within the sea of copper. It was a tempting prospect, as stories abound of people stumbling upon pennies worth millions. But after years of toiling away at the house and months dealing with the pennies, the family was ready for someone else to continue the journey.

In a bid to find a fair value for their treasure, John Reyes took to OfferUp, a popular resale app, and listed the coins for $25,000. This sum far surpasses the face value of $10,000 and reflects the potential rarity and uniqueness hidden within the collection. While they have received offers for portions of the cache, finding someone willing to take the entire lot off their hands has proven elusive.

So, the question remains: who will step up to the plate and claim this extraordinary horde of copper pennies? If you have the means, the desire, and a sprinkle of optimism, Reyes and his family

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