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Man willing to pay $200,000 for a penny

Oct. 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM

HOLLANDALE BEACH, Fla., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A Florida coin trader says he would pay $200,000 for a copper penny minted in 1943.

The 1943 copper penny is quite rare, as that year United States mints in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco struck nearly all 1 billion pennies in zinc-coated steel because of a copper shortage due to World War II, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Saturday.

A few copper blanks were left in the hopper from 1942 and were struck into 1943 pennies. The exact number of copper 1943 pennies in the world varies -- the U.S. Mint, which never entered the coppers in the official record, said there were 40 or more.

Michael O'Higgins, 57, of Hallandale Beach, has placed an ad in a local paper offering $200,000 to anyone for one of the pennies, which can be worth more than $2 million.

"A lot of the time it's a wild goose chase," he said.

O'Higgins said this is the first time he has bought an ad looking for the penny but he figured it's worth a shot.

"Everyone should look in their change," he said.

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