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by Vanessa Cortez, staff reporter.  [Sept. 16, 2002]




[]  Next time you spy a penny on the ground, take a tip from Ben Franklin and pick it up -- fast!  A penny saved is a penny earned -- and your one cent earnings will quickly add up into vast riches of millions -- even BILLIONS! -- of dollars!

That's the startling finding of a panel of Weekly Universe financial experts and economists.

Consider these amazing facts:

It takes under a second to snatch a penny off the ground, or search a phone or vending machine's coin return slot.  But even if you require a whole second to grab that penny, you're earning money at a rate of 60 cents a minute -- $36 dollars an hour!

So really, while collecting your copper cent, you're actually working at a job that pays an annual salary of $72,000!

And that's if you limit yourself to a mere 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year.  Industrious penny seekers -- ever eyeing the ground and checking coin return slots -- even during overtime and vacation time -- can expect to push their annual earnings well above $100,000!

Of course, that $100,000 is before tax and SSI withholdings -- but when was the last time anyone reported found pennies to the IRS?  So if you're a single working stiff with no exemptions or business deductions, your annual unreported penny take- home pay of $100,000 is really equivalent to the buying power of a taxpayer who earns $200,000!

And that's just your entry level salary!  Once you gain some workplace skills, you'll be able to pocket a penny every half second -- doubling your annual salary to $400,000!

If you work 40 years before retirement, that's a lifetime income of $16 million!

And that's just for pennies!  Every time you find a nickel, you're really earning an annual salary of $2 million!  Grab a dime in half a second and you're earning $4 million a year!  Pick up a quarter and you're pulling an annual salary of $10 million -- a lifetime income of $400 million!

You're now earning enough to rival the biggest Hollywood stars -- and make them pea-green with envy!

Ever find a dollar?  If so, by picking it up, you've worked at a job that pays a lifetime income of $1.6 BILLION!  Yup, that's BILLION with a B!

Ever pick up a fiver?  Your lifetime income bracket is $8 BILLION!

Ever find a ten spot?  Your lifetime income bracket is $16 BILLION!

And if you were ever industrious enough to pick up a $20 bill in half a second -- and did not report it to the IRS -- you were employed in a job that pays an annual "after tax" salary of $800 million! -- with a lifetime earnings total of $32 BILLION!

Ever pick up a $100 bill?  If so, your job's lifetime earnings would total $640 BILLION!  You'd be earning as much as six or seven Bill Gates!

Of course, unless you find another $100 in the next half second, you'd have lost your job. But how many people can claim to have been in the $640 BILLION-a- lifetime income bracket, even for only a half-second?

So keep your eyes peeled for pennies, keep checking those coin return slots -- because that loose change really adds up!

Copyright 2002 by


Vanessa Cortez is a Los Angeles based tabloid reporter who has investigated the occult underbelly of the entertainment industry. Read more about her journalism in Hollywood Witches.







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