Coinstar helps Fayette man get cash for 91,000 pennies dumped in his driveway

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Not exactly pennies from heaven — Andreas Flaten says goodbye to the wheelbarrow full of his employer's final payment to him.Photo/Coinstar.
Not exactly pennies from heaven — Andreas Flaten says goodbye to the wheelbarrow full of his employer's final payment to him.Photo/Coinstar.

On April Fool’s Day, Andreas Flaten, a Fayetteville, Ga., man, finally gets real cash to replace 91,000 pennies that he received for pay from a former employer, Walker Luxury Autoworks on Clover Reach in Peachtree City.

Coinstar, known for its network of coin-counting kiosks, stepped in to help Flaten by picking up the oily, dirty pennies at his home and in return gave him $1,000 in cash. The pennies were originally dumped in Flaten’s driveway by his former employer and were intended to serve as his final “paycheck.”

“It was a shock and frustrating to be paid in this manner, and it was an extra burden that the pennies were covered with an oily substance,” said Flaten. “I was spending an hour or two a night trying to clean the pennies and probably only cleaned off about $5 worth. I was so relieved and grateful that Coinstar agreed to help me.”

The pennies have been stored in a wheelbarrow in Flaten’s garage over the past few weeks. Today, Coinstar helped transfer the pennies from the wheelbarrow into a transport vehicle where the coins will ultimately be cleaned and processed, and returned to circulation.

“When we heard about Mr. Flaten’s penny problem, we were happy to offer our assistance,” said Jim Gaherity, CEO of Coinstar. “Coinstar has been in the coin business for 30 years and we process approximately 41 billion coins annually – so picking up 91,000 pennies was all in a day’s work.”

Coinstar will also match Flaten’s penny value and donate $1,000 to local charities of his choosing. Two Atlanta-area animal shelters will split the amount.

Coinstar has approximately 18,000 coin-counting kiosks nationwide with 400 kiosks in the greater Atlanta area in locations including Kroger and Wal-Mart.