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BARBERTON, Ohio – Eugene Sukie recently proved that saving for a rainy day can really pay off. Sukie, a board member at $22 million Integrity Federal Credit Union, may have made history Nov. 16 when he cashed in more than one million pennies and walked away with $10,480.13. According to Coinstar, Inc., Sukie, who is also a retired glass plant worker/supervisor from Barberton, Ohio broke a national all-time record, along with the company’s standing record for the most pennies collected and cashed-in at a Coinstar machine by a single customer. Sukie, who celebrates his 79th birthday later this month, and his wife, cashed in a total of 1,048,013 pennies, which weighed in at 3.5 tons. The previous Coinstar record, set in 2001 in Anchorage, Alaska, was set at 792,141 pennies (or $7,921.41). The company believes the cash-in could set a new world record for the largest single denomination collection of coin by an individual. Sukie’s penny fortune was cashed in at Giant Eagle Supermarket in Lyndhurst, Ohio. “Collecting pennies was something to do – you don’t miss a penny the way you would a nickel or a dime, so saving the pennies didn’t come out of our livelihood, but now we have this extra money that we hadn’t planned on, said Sukie, who has served on the board at Integrity CU for 21 years. Prompted by his wife to cash-in the pennies while he was still able, Sukie contacted Coinstar after cashing in more than 200,000 pennies on his own over a two-month period at various supermarkets, as well as his local bank and credit union. With still hundreds of thousands of pennies remaining, Coinstar, the Bellevue, Washington-based company with more than 11,000 self-service coins-to-cash machines in supermarkets across the U.S., Canada, and the UK, stepped in and agreed to transport and count Sukie’s remaining coins at local Coinstar machines in the Cleveland area. The coins were also counted and verified by Coinstar’s third-party processor, Brinks – a process Coinstar normally undertakes to ensure machine count accuracy. Sukie is no stranger to collecting pennies. His first collection dates back to 1939 when he gathered $45 worth that he earned as a newspaper delivery boy. He used the amount to purchase a top-of-the-line” Schwinn bicycle. He then embarked on another collection of pennies totaling $400, which he was able to use in 1970 to offset some of his daughter’s wedding costs. At that point, Sukie became newly-inspired to collect one million of something and thought pennies would be a reasonable and affordable hobby. Besides collecting pennies, Sukie is also an avid collector of souvenir playing cards, wooden pencils and Matchbox cars. Sukie will continue to hold onto a prized collection of old U.S. Wheat pennies. Coinstar had to make two trips to Sukie’s home to load the pennies which were stored in 575 cigar boxes in his basement. Sukie said Coinstar deducted the 8.9% or roughly $932 processing fee from the total amount. Sukie and his wife have not decided what they plan to do with their newfound windfall, although they are considering splurging on new clothing and furniture. Meanwhile, his story has been picked up by media outlets around the world including the Today Show, a David Letterman skit, a newspaper in Germany and several local and out-of-state newspapers, Sukie said. “I would have never guessed that this would bring so much attention, “Sukie said through chuckles. And he readily admits he doesn’t plan on collecting pennies again. “Coinstar helps Americans tap into hidden wealth that lies in their homes everyday,” said Richard Stillman, president of Coinstar, Inc. “And while Eugene’s collection of pennies is certainly one for the record books, it is also a great example of how spare change can add up to significant savings.” Coinstar estimates that there is more than $10.5 billion in change sitting idle in American homes. To date, the company has helped more than 245 million consumers turn more than $8.5 billion in change into spendable cash. [email protected]

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