Utahn who sought loose cash during decades of walking collected memories, more than $5,000

Posted at 9:37 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 09:42:23-05

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah -- Find a penny, pick it up, then one day you'll have $5,000. That may not be the case for you, but, for one local woman, that's exactly what happened.

For decades, Wanda Mackintosh went on daily walks, picking up loose change. And she still has every penny… lots of them.

“You just walk and it gets really boring, but if you’re looking for money it makes the time go by faster, and you can walk further and faster,” said Wanda Mackintosh.

For the 84-year-old woman, picking up loose change simply made sense. Literally, each penny, nickel and dime added up.

“It was crazy; we never anticipated getting this kind of money,” Wanda said.

All the change she found on the ground while walking seven miles a day for nearly thirty years amounts to more than $5,000 in change, weighing in at more than 700 pounds.

“Sometimes I would come back with a couple of pennies and sometimes I'd come back with 70 some odd dollars,” Mackintosh said.

Wanda started picking pennies off the pavement while walking the streets of Cottonwood Heights with her friend.

“It's crazy, it's crazy people are that careless with money,” Wanda said.

Turning her morning walks into a treasure hunt, Wanda knows where all the gold mines are.

“At the car washes: I'd walk through the car washes, and that was a money-maker there,” Wanda said.

Dime by dime, counting the money as the years went by – baggies with dates and memories of when and where the coins, and on rare occasion, bills, were found.

“It's the big money we got excited about,” Wanda said.

What does Wanda plan to do with the thousands of dropped coins?

“I told my kids it was to give them something from me when I left this world,” Wanda said.

“A thousand dollars of this is mine, but we would never spend it." said Wanda's son, Scott Mackintosh. "It's never money that would get used. It's just memories of her, so how could we do that? There's too much sentimental value to it."

Even though the small change adds up, she says the big value is in the memories.

“Just kind of a silly thing, but it was fun," Wanda said. "It made walking a lot more interesting than just walking."