Man uses common cents, pays for speeding ticket with 22,000 pennies

Man pays speeding ticket with 22,000 pennies

To some, what Brett Sanders did after getting a speeding ticket will make no cents. To others, it may be completely priceless.

Sanders, who lives in Frisco, Texas, got ticketed for driving nine miles over the speed limit near his neighborhood. The amount he owed? $212. (With a processing fee, that comes to $222.60.)

That was unfair, thought Sanders. "I didn't hurt anybody. I didn't endanger anybody's life," he told NBC affiliate KXAS-TV.

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Calling it "extortion" in the comments of a video he made about what he did next, Sanders decided to cash out with a big bang. He collected approximately 22,000 pennies from the bank and dumped the change into two buckets he spray-painted with the words "extortion money."

Next stop: Municipal court, where he dumped both buckets on the clerk's countertop. No surprise, a lot of pennies ended up on the floor.

"It felt great," he said.

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The clerks weren't so happy, though: They had to collect all of those pennies, count them out and reroll them back up again for deposit. Time spent: three hours, reports the New York Daily News.

RELATED: 30 surprising ways to use pennies

30 surprising ways to use pennies (
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Man uses common cents, pays for speeding ticket with 22,000 pennies

1. Fix a Wobbly Kitchen Table

A kitchen table that wobbles at the slightest touch can make a meal anything but enjoyable. Stack a few pennies underneath the table leg triggering the problem.

“I use pennies to keep our kitchen table even,” said Garrett Mehrguth, CEO of the digital agency Directive Consulting. “I found that a penny is a lot cheaper than a new table.”

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2. Donate a Jar of Pennies to Charity

If you can't remember the last time you made a charitable donation, then you're probably overdue for one.

“Save pennies in a large container, and when it is full you can donate the money to a charity,” said Jacqueline Frances Brownstein, a freelance copyeditor, proofreader and indexer. “It might not be much, but many charities would appreciate a donation in any amount.”

Related: 16 Money-Saving Apps for 2016

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3. Check Your Tire Tread

Checking the condition of your tires is easier than you think. Simply hold a penny with President Lincoln's head facing downward and place it in the groove of the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln's face, the tread depth is too low, and it is time to replace your tires.

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4. Create a Makeshift Screwdriver

If you don't have your toolbox handy, grab a spare penny to use as a makeshift screwdriver. The penny comes in handy for tightening or loosening screws. You can also use this coin to open the battery compartment of electronic toys and other items.

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5. Frame a Mirror

Get creative and frame a boring mirror with pennies. Simply glue clean pennies to the frame of a mirror — or onto a frameless mirror — and add a touch of elegance to your space.

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6. Decorate a Vase

Pennies can also add style and texture to a bland vase. You can leave each penny as-is or prime and paint the coins to add a touch of color.

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7. Fill a Sock for Self-Defense

If you want to protect yourself without a pocketknife or firearm, fill a sock with pennies and carry it around in your purse or backpack. The weight of the pennies will deliver a painful blow.

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8. Preserve Your Flowers

There's an easy and affordable way to extend the life of that supermarket bouquet. Simply drop a clean, pre-1985 penny and a sugar cube in a flower vase filled with water. The copper in the penny will inhibit the growth of bacteria and keep your roses beautiful longer.

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9. Keep Curtains Straight

To stop your curtains from swinging wildly when the windows are open, make a homemade curtain weight by gluing a stack of pennies to a paperclip. Place the pennies in the open hem of your curtain and use the paperclip to secure them in place.

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10. Make Your Own Washer for Home Projects

You can easily turn a penny into a washer for home repair projects. Use a metal drill bit to punch holes in the pennies and create all the washers you need for a fraction of the cost of buying them in hardware stores.

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11. Open a Soda Can

Don’t break a nail while opening that soda can. Instead, use a penny to pry open the top. Sliding the coin underneath the pull tab will provide enough leverage to open the can with ease.

Photo credit: Minaeva

12. Create an Ice Pack

Place pennies in a sock and tie the end closed with fabric. Keep the sock in the freezer. After an injury, remove the sock from the freezer and use it as a handy ice pack.

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13. Use as Tile Spacers

Home improvement projects can be more expensive than anticipated. However, you can cut costs by using pennies in place of plastic tile spacers when installing tile in the home.

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14. Save a Bottle of Wine

If your wine develops an unpleasant smell, don't pour the bottle down the drain. Instead, drop a penny in a glass of the wine and stir for a few minutes. The copper produces an odorless compound called copper sulfide, which saves your wine by eliminating that burnt, rubbery or rotten egg smell.

Photo credit: Chernaev

15. Make a Penny Ring

If you're crafty and like DIY jewelry, consider turning a single penny into a cocktail ring. You only need wires, small pliers, superglue, rhinestone trim and, of course, a clean, shiny penny.

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16. Make a Penny Necklace

If you love your penny ring, consider creating a necklace to match your creation. You can rest assured knowing the pieces you make will be one of a kind.

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17. Replace Your Old Kitchen Countertop

Laminate and granite aren't the only options for coating your counters. For a unique look in your kitchen, design a penny-covered countertop or even a penny tabletop. Simply attach a piece of wood to the original counter surface and then glue clean pennies on top. Once the glue dries, apply a coat of epoxy.

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18. Design a Backsplash

You can use pennies to make a unique and attractive backsplash in your kitchen. A custom design will command attention while protecting your wall from cooking splatter.

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19. Make a Doorstop

Make a decorative doorstop using pennies and a pretty sock. Fill the sock with pennies and then tie the end with eye-catching fabric or rope. You can even dye or paint the sock for a unique design.

Then place the sock in front of a door to keep it open.

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20. Get Rid of Carpet Indentations

After rearranging your furniture, spray the carpet with a little water and rub it gently with a clean penny. The rubbing motion will loosen the carpet and remove any indentations caused by the furniture.

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21. Make a Coaster

Protect your table from spills and beautify your living space with penny coasters. All you have to do to make these knick-knacks is layer pennies on a cork frame and glue them down.

Photo credit: Bastin

22. Create a Garden Ball

Pennies can also liven up your garden. Just glue pennies to an old bowling ball and then display the shiny creation in your yard for all to see. You can also prime and paint the ball for a more colorful design.

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23.  Design Wall Art

Using old pennies, you can create a design on a blank canvas. Glue the pennies in place and, once the art dries, frame and display the piece in your home or office.

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24. Create Fun Party Favors

If you don't want too much sugar in your party favors, wrap small stacks of pennies in plastic and tie the ends with a bow. Give the pennies to your child's friends as gifts, assuming they are age appropriate and not a choking hazard.

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25. Play a Penny Stacking Game

If your kids are bored, consider teaching them to play a penny stacking game. Grab a jar of pennies and have them take turns stacking pennies on top of one another. The person who causes the tower to fall loses the game.

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26. Search for Buried Treasure

Bury a bunch of pennies in a sandbox and have your children search for buried treasure. This is also an excellent game to play at a birthday party. Give a prize to the kid that collects the most pennies.

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27. Take Pennies to an Amusement Park

Grab a handful of pennies if you're planning to visit an amusement park or zoo. Once you reach your destination, search for a machine that elongates pennies and stamps them with the name of the attraction. You'll have a great, affordable souvenir to remember your visit.

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28. Pay a Debt

If you owe someone money, and you want to get under his or her skin, pay the person back in pennies. While the individual might make a fuss, there’s no rule that says you have to repay a debt with dollar bills.

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29. Make Tap Shoes for Your Kids

Surprise your kids with their own tap shoes. Grab an old pair of shoes and glue several pennies to the bottom of the soles. Then, start dancing.

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30. Invest in the Stock Market

Invest your pennies in the stock market using an investing app such as Acorns. After linking up a debit or credit card, you can authorize the app to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar. Acorns will automatically invest your spare change.

Related: 10 Good Investments for Risk-Takers

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Sanders is far from the first person to try paying a ticket with pennies in Frisco, Texas; in 2013 John Gately made a video of himself arguing with clerks over their unwillingness to accept pennies to pay a $127 ticket issued to his wife for not wearing her seat belt properly.

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Still, in case you're getting bright ideas about how to pay off all your bills, while the government is one thing, private businesses can refuse certain kinds of legal tender, according to the Treasury.

But back to Sanders, who did manage to get his common cents across. Though he did end up overpaying, to the tune of $7.81.

"I'm going to go ahead and let them keep that," he said.

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