Paying with pennies

Last night, I saw a funny TV commercial promoting a 1 cent sale. In the ad, a man tries to pay his dinner bill with a bag full of pennies. The angered restaurant owner shouts “nobody does that!”

I couldn't help but to wonder why not. If a person has enough time and energy to haul around bags full of pennies, shouldn’t they count?

According to the myth-busting Web site Snopes, pennies can be used for making payments and must be accepted by the Federal Reserve System. However, this does not mean that individual merchants must accept pennies as payment. Bottom line is that businesses can choose how they wish to be paid.

In fact, trying to hold things up by paying with pennies has gotten a few people in trouble. Just ask the 29 eighth-graders who got detention for trying to pay for their hot lunches with pennies.

For more penny pranks, check out these hidden camera videos where a “copper topped” spokesperson from OfficeMax tries to pay for things with pennies. At the end of each video, OfficeMax says “we take pennies.” I wonder how many people have tried to test that theory.

Have you tried to pay for something with a lot pennies? If so, please share your experience through the comments section.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.