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The power of the almighty penny

By Crissinda Ponder ·
Monday, July 9, 2012
Posted: 2 pm ET

Paying off a mortgage can be a more-than-wonderful feeling and, as I'm assured, an unforgettable one.

But Thomas Daigle upped the ante and made the experience of paying off his mortgage extra special this year. The Milford, Mass., resident showed up at his mortgage lender's establishment with 62,000 pennies to pay his $620 loan balance, according to The Milford Daily News.

Daigle and his wife, Sandra, moved into their home 35 years ago. After borrowing from the Milford Federal Savings and Loan Association and purchasing the home, Daigle promised himself he would make the final payment in pennies.

Being a man of his word, he started collecting an average of 2.5 pennies a day. He tried holding the pennies in a grape crate, which proved to be overwhelming. So, he secured military rocket launcher ammo boxes to contain the colossal coin collection.

Daigle used rainy and snowy days to roll up pennies by the 50. When he would pick up a penny and declare that it was going toward the mortgage, Sandra would laugh -- not realizing the extent of his savings.

The "pay off my mortgage" day landed on April 24, the same day Daigle and his wife celebrated their 35th anniversary. Milford Federal was given a heads up about a month before he made the delivery. The bank says every penny roll was perfectly counted.

He continues to pursue and pocket pennies, but instead of accumulating them for future use, he visits grocery store change sorting machines and cashes in.

How will you pay off your long-term mortgage? Share your ideas in the comments section.

Crissinda Ponder is a reporting intern for Bankrate. Follow her on Twitter @CrissiPonder.

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Govindaswamy Nagarajan
July 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Exceptional to live that long togeter in the same house. God bless them.

July 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm

After saving them for that long, I might have run them through a coin expert 1st.

Glenn Hale
July 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Back in the 60s I vended gum balls for a penny and the banks were delighted to have a source so they wouldn't have to pay the Federal Reserve fee for bags of rolled pennies. So they provided me with bank bags and I didn't have to wrap them to make my deposits. And, they didn't charge me a service charge for handling them.

Tracie P
July 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Wow! Wonderful. Does he have enough to share with me to pay-off my remaining balance?

July 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

My youngest son saved his money and always had any gift money changed to pennies. At the age of 14 he bought his first car and paid the majority of it with pennies. We sat and rolled over $4000 in pennies, good thing pennies aren't made from copper anymore, we'd probably have copper poisoning from it. LOL

July 10, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I have no intention of paying off my mortgage any time soon. After putting 20% down 4 years ago, my house has depreciated by approximately 30%, putting me under water. Rather than pay down a depreciating asset, I am going to put my money into an investment I found that will give me a large enough return to make my mortgage payment for me!

July 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm

This made me smile. Good for him.

Phil Bouldry
July 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

When the bank THERE in Milford heard that the Daigles were going to pay THEIR mortgage off in pennies, I bet they said "THEY'RE what?"

July 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm


Ricky Andrews
July 09, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Its a pleasure to hear about people that actually get the chance to make there LAST payment on there long-term mortgage.
Great Blog Crissinda!!