State News

Coinstar Helps Georgia Man After He Was Paid with 91,000 Pennies

A Georgia man who made national headlines after he was paid in pennies by a former employer has made sense of his cents.

Andreas Flaten, a Fayetteville, Ga., man finally was able to replace his 91,000 pennies with dollars after coin-counting kiosk corporation Coinstar stepped in to help Flaten.

Flaten’s previous employer dumped off the oily, dirty pennies at his home a few weeks ago, leaving Flaten to move them inside from his driveway with a wheelbarrow.

“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.”

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. In exchange, they gave Flaten $1,000 in cash.

“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.

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