Friday, May 23, 2014

You’re in Luck!

Today is National Lucky Penny Day!

So, in honor of those peachy penny parties that are sure to be popping up all over the country, I thought it would be a great day to re-post my baby brother’s recipe for instant treasure…

Instant luck also guaranteed!

Instant Treasure (without losing an eye)


One 5 dollar bill
One bank teller person
One sense of adventure

Directions:  Make haste to a financial institution in your neighborhood. Hand over your 5 dollar bill to the bank teller person and say, “I would like 500 pennies.” Smile. You can add an “Arrrgh” if you wish. When the bank teller person hands over those rolls, you may feel the urge to swashbuckle. I suggest you save that for later. Sail home and check out what you've got — and blimey, you've got 500 chances to find some valuable stuff!

Voila — treasure!

The last time my son did this, he found two Lincoln wheat pennies (1941 & 1946) and a dime with low self-esteem (alas, he was worth so much more than the chumps he hung out with).

Now this recipe also comes with bonus features that are mighty handy if you’re a writer person. I call them Instant Stories. Sure, sure, the pennies might be worth more than face value, but the stories in your hot little hands are priceless — and they can run the gamut from historical to hysterical.

To access these features, preheat your brain to “simmer”. Then take another look at your loot.

For example, think about my son’s wheat-backs from 1941, the year the U.S. entered WWII, and 1946, the year after The War ended — Shiver me timbers, there are so many world events between the mintings of two bits of metal! 

And just where have those pennies been all this time? Were they ever worn in loafers? Could one have been held by JFK? Martin Luther King? How many gumballs did they purchase in their lifetimes? How many times were they “lucky” finds? Were they ever employed by the Tooth Fairy? Did a kid ever swallow one of them?

Okay, maybe you don’t want to think about that last one.

PROMPT: Your assignment, should you choose to accept it — go get yourself some treasure without the risk of scallywags or swordplay. Plunder the stories! Paint maps of faraway islands! And if you really want to engage in a sword fight or two, I’m certainly not going to stop you.

And by the way, if you’re doubting that you’ll find anything that's particularly valuable — note that one wild author and coin guy, Scott A. Travers, intentionally dropped rare pennies into circulation in 1997, 2002, and 2006. His last drop included a penny worth $1000 (yep, you saw that right — One. Thousand. Dollars.). Now THAT is one lucky penny — and of course, a great story, too!

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