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8 Million Pennies Flood a Delaware Highway After Crash

Future Of The Penny In DoubtFuture Of The Penny In Doubt
A pile of pennies.Photo by Tim Boyle—Getty Images

Delaware: where the streets are paved with 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.

On Thursday morning a tractor trailer was carrying tons of small discs on its way to the Philadelphia Mint where they would be turned into pennies. But at about 2 a.m., the vehicle ran into a highway barrier, tipped over, caught fire, and spilled 45,000 pounds of soon-to-be-pennies all over the highway, according to The New York Times. If the discs had made it to their destination, they would have been worth around $81,600.

Stefan Marinkovic, the 25-year-old driver from Chicago, was sent to the hospital with minor injuries and received a citation for inattentive driving. Sections of I-95 North and I-295 East had been closed down for upwards of 13 hours as a result of the collision and subsequent mess.

Jeff Gore, founder of Citizens to Retire the Penny, believes that this entire disaster occurred for no good reason at all. “Even if the truck had made it there without incident, they would still be doing something that doesn’t make any sense,” he told the Times. “We’d still be making a coin that nobody wants.”

Though not all of them could be recovered, the coins are now being stored until they can eventually be transferred to the mint.