Find a penny, pick it up...there’s 6.5 billion of them

Find a penny, pick it up...there’s 6.5 billion of them  
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on 04/24/2007

Source: Chevrolet UK

New research out today reveals that the average Brit’s pockets are considerably lighter than they should be with over 6.5 billion – £65 million worth – of pennies currently unaccounted for throughout the UK. Chevrolet, a car maker synonymous with value for money, has questioned over 1,200 people to point out where the pennies are dropping to encourage people to recognise their value.

Nearly two fifths (38 per cent) of pennies issued are now lost, with the average UK adult admitting they mislay at least five pennies a week. 40 per cent of these (over £26 million worth) can be found on the streets, whilst 17 per cent (£11m) are most likely to turn up in handbags and suitcases. 12 per cent (£7.8m) are currently being chauffeured around the country in the nation’s cars – enough money to buy over 1,200 brand new Chevrolet Matiz cars – and 9 per cent (£5.9m) are to be found in the living room hidden down the back of sofas.

Top ten places to find lost pennies are

1. On the street (40 per cent) = £26m
2. In handbags and suitcases (17 per cent) = £11m
3. In the car (12 per cent) = £7.8m
4. Down the back of sofas (9 per cent) = £5.9m
5. In clothes and shoes (6 per cent) = £3.9m
6. In the washing machine (5 per cent) = £3.3m
7. Dropped in a shop (4 per cent) = £2.6m
8. On public transport (3 per cent) = £2m
9. In the vacuum cleaner (2 per cent) = £1.3m
10. Down the drain (1 per cent) = £650,000

Les Turton of Chevrolet comments,
“In an expensive world where every penny counts it’s surprising so much money is currently unaccounted for. If it’s true that looking after the pennies looks after the pounds then hopefully we’ve helped to point people in the direction of Britain’s lost millions. Now it’s up to them to scour the streets and search their cars and sofas to find the cash. If you find one pick it up and not only will you have good luck all day, but a healthier bank balance too.”

Cars are money-boxes on wheels, overtaking sofas as the places to find lost cash, with over 780 million lost pennies (£7.8m worth) currently residing in the nation’s automobiles. Nearly a fifth of men (19 per cent) say they lose their cash in their cars compared to only 5 per cent of women. One in three (31 per cent) of pennies lost by women can be found at the bottom of their handbags.

Despite all the loose cash lying redundant across the country, six out of ten people (61 per cent) say they do not bother picking it up. Affluent Londoners ignore the most free coppers with three quarters (72 per cent) not bothering to stop and pick up stray pennies. People in the South East and South West are the most opportune with 44 per cent always reclaiming lost pennies. Scots come third in the penny-watching league with 43 per cent transferring lost pennies to their pockets every time they see one.

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