Pennies: Worth Some Luck, but That’s About It

The penny press machine I saw last weekend made me laugh. It sat in a corner of the Hyatt Regency in downtown Dallas, looking lonely and unused. I wondered: Why does it cost 51 cents to flatten a penny? What’s the extra cent for? Actually, what’s the extra 50 cents for? It’s just like the “dollar store” or the “penny candy” store. You’re lucky if you can buy a sweet treat for a quarter in a penny candy store. Sigh.

While on my way out of the Hyatt, I crossed through Union Station and stumbled across a heads-up penny on the railroad tracks. I picked it up and put it in a special pocket in my purse. A penny might not buy me much, but it might bring me some luck.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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