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A Massachusetts teenager bought his school lunch with cash. Amongst the change he received was an incredibly rare penny that is estimated to be worth upwards of $1 million.


The story actually took place in 1947.

Don Lutes Jr. of Pittsfield, Massachusetts was 16 when he received a special penny in the change he received after purchasing his school lunch.

The penny is a 1943 copper coin.

Why is a copper penny from 1943 so special?

In 1942, the United States Mint stopped making pennies from copper because all copper was to be reserved for "wartime necessities" like shell casings and telephone wire.

However, an estimated 20 pennies were cast from copper instead of the replacement steel.

Lutes's 1943 copper penny was one of those 20.

In September of 2018, Lutes passed away and his prized coin is now up for auction.

The current bid is at $100,000, but the last 1943 copper penny was sold at auction for $1.7 million in 2010.

Heritage Auctions spoke about the rare cent.

"While a number of other examples have surfaced over the years, no other specimen has been celebrated and written about as much as this remarkable coin. This piece inspires a special pride of ownership not equaled by any other example. This lot represents a true 'once in a lifetime' opportunity."

The internet agrees that the coin is "once in a lifetime".










You can bid on the coin at Heritage Auctions.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

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