Friday Reader: Texas Man Deposits 500 Pounds of Pennies

The big haul  Photo: KCBD TV

The big haul
Photo: KCBD TV

After 65 years of saving, an 81-year-old Slaton, Texas man deposits $816 worth of pennies at Prosperity Bank.

Ira Keys hasn’t spent a penny since he was 17 years old, because of advice his father gave him.

“He says, ‘Whatever you do son, save your money,'” Keys said. “Back when I started in ’52, I didn’t have a lot of money, so I saved pennies and I just kept saving them.”

The collection weighed in at about 500 pounds.

“I like to have broke the springs on that little-ole pickup,” Keys said.

Kari Lewis, a personal banker at Prosperity Bank, said she has never seen anything like Keys’ collection before.

Ira Keys is the Pennyman! Photo: KCBD TV

Ira Keys is the Pennyman!
Photo: KCBD TV

“We take pennies for granted,” she said. “You see them on the ground and you’re kind of like, ‘Oh, I’m not picking that up,’ but for him to collect it for years and years was pretty amazing.”

It took employees over an hour to count the collection of about 81,600 pennies.

“We ended up with $816 in pennies,” Lewis said. “Not a typical day at the bank, at all.”

But that’s not all of Keys’ penny stash.

“I’m going to build a room divider and have pennies all in it,” he said, “the shiny ones.”

But Keys hasn’t forgotten his father’s lesson. He still plans to keep his piggy bank full.

“It’s just a habit I’ve got into, and habits are hard to break sometimes,” Keys said, “but I don’t think I’ll have this many when I cash them in again.”