Here to Help With Change Shortage: the 'Coin Master'

Wisconsin's Jim Holton turned in more than $5K in coins he's been saving for 20 years to help America
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2020 8:11 AM CDT
Here to Help With Change Shortage: the 'Coin Master'
Not Holton's coins.   (Getty Images/brianbigel)

The Federal Reserve has set up a special task force to "get coin moving" in the US amid the coronavirus-driven coin shortage, but one man in Wisconsin didn't wait for government help to put more nickels and dimes into circulation. Jim Holton of Wauwatosa, who started saving up his coins 20 years ago when his oldest son was born, kept his change each time he ran out to get coffee or do other tasks about town, adding the leftover money to piggy banks, buckets, and other containers he kept in his basement. He tells WTHR that he'd usually add at least 60 cents per day after his java run alone. The big plan for all that scratch, eventually: "I just thought ... we could do something fun like go to Europe or something else that we never dreamed of doing," the dad of four tells NBC News.

Holton, dubbed "the coin master" by pals, originally planned to not cash in the coins until all of his kids had graduated from high school—his youngest is now 15—but then he heard about the coin shortage and put at least the first part of his plan into motion. When he counted the change up, he was surprised at the grand total: $5,366.05, far more than the $1,500 or so he expected. He lugged it all to a local bank on a dolly, which he says "felt like it weighed 300 pounds," and turned in his hard-saved currency. He says he won't be hoarding coins again for the immediate future due the nation's dearth, adding, "Maybe I'll find another creative way to set aside the money." (More coins stories.)

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