How Much Money is 80,000 Pennies (And What is it Worth?)


This question likely conjures up visions of giant jars of bronze-colored pennies sitting in a dusty corner of a bedroom or living room.

Or maybe you’ve seen the story of the man who paid his last child support payment in pennies dumped onto the street in front of his ex-wife’s home. It’s certainly true that 80,000 pennies make for quite a few images of Abraham Lincoln’s face rolling around.

80,000 pennies is only $800. Eight hundred dollars can buy a lot, but that finite figure really breaks down the buying power of 80,000 pennies.

How Much is 80,000 Pennies in Dollars?

The penny has an illustrious history in the United States since its inception as the first currency authorized by the Mint Act of 1792. President Abraham Lincoln’s backward image was placed on the penny commemorating his 100th birthday in 1909. Before that there was the Fugio Copper Cent, the Flowing Hair Cent, the Liberty Cap Cent, Draped Bust Cent, Classic Head Cent, Coronet Head Cent, and Indian Head Cent

Regardless of which type of penny we’re discussing here, how much is 80,000 pennies in dollars? For all those who are a quick study in math and zeroes, this question contains an easy answer. 80,000 pennies will exchange for exactly $800, be it in 800 singles, 160 five-dollar bills, 80 ten-dollar bills, 40 twenty-dollar bills, 16 fifties, or 8 hundred-dollar bills.  

How Much Does 80,000 Pennies Weigh?

This depends on what kind of pennies are being put on the scale. Modern-day pennies are made of zinc that has a copper plating. And they’re much smaller than the first penny, which was nearly as big as a half-dollar and made of real copper. In March 1793 the Mint produced $111.78 worth of large pennies, 11,178 copper cents. 

Related Financial Geek Article: What is American Money Made Of | A Complete Guide

If the old large penny was used for our example, it would weigh more than 80,000 modern U.S. quarters, about 1,000 pounds. But looking at our modern penny tells a much different story. Start with a single modern penny’s weight: 0.088 ounces or 2.5 grams. 80,000 pennies would clock in at 7,040 ounces, which breaks down to 440 pounds, less than half of those old pennies from 1793!

Are you confused yet?!

As a side note, bear in mind that a rare penny that is in great or mint condition could be worth much more than one cent. In fact, these types of pennies can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Where To Store 80,000 Pennies?

The more relevant question is “Why would you want to store 80,000 pennies!” How much room would 80,000 pennies take up? The introduction to this post mentioned a story about a man who paid his last child support payment of (you guessed it) $800 in the form of 80,000 pennies.

This father was not happy about 18 years of child support payments, so when the last one was due, he loaded up a landscaping trailer with 80,000 pennies and dumped them on the lawn in front of the house.

There were so many pennies that the mother and daughter duo had to use a snow shovel to pick the pennies up off the lawn. But interestingly enough, Mom and Daughter used the opportunity to do some good and donated the $800 in pennies to a domestic abuse shelter.

A roll of pennies (red wrapper) is only $0.50. 80,000 pennies would mean you’d need to make 160,000 rolls of pennies! But that may not be the best way to store them. Laying them end-to-end and on top of each other, a cubic foot would hold 50,000 pennies.

80,000 pennies would take up just less than two cubic feet of space, which really isn’t all that much compared to the space it may take to roll them all. But . . . the next question signals the need to roll 80,000 pennies.

Where Do You Cash in 80,000 Pennies?

Prior to the pandemic, you might not have expected a warm welcome if you walked into a bank lobby with nearly 2 cubic feet of pennies. But in these days of coin shortages banks, convenience stores, and grocery stores welcome coins. Some machines allow you to pour the coins in and for a fee give you cash or vouchers if the machine is in a store.

Related Financial Geek Article: 5 Places You Can Cash in Canadian Pennies

As long as it may take to collect 80,000 pennies it would probably not take long at all to process them through a bank or machine and exchange them for dollars. And due to the coin shortage, you may even be able to find a bank that will take your coins and exchange them without charging you a fee.

A Look at 80,000 Pennies

That’s how 80,000 pennies break down in terms of value and exchange. For collectors 80,000 pennies may be a gold mine to search for rare coins. But for most folks 80,000 pennies is much less effective than $800 in cold, hard cash.

Thanks for reading!

Geek, out.

Noel Moffatt

Noel Moffatt is the founder and main contributor for his blog - The Financial Geek. Based in Canada, Noel's passion for personal finance has helped him amass over 300k readers to his Financial Geek blog.

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