Double Original Friday – Penny Prayer


I’ve always heard that you aren’t supposed to pick up pennies off the ground if they are tails up – they are good luck only if they are heads up. When we were young, my friends and I would just leave pennies that were on tails: No need to temp fate, as it were. These days I am more egalitarian and I pick them up regardless. Poking around the internet for the origin of this superstition (which, like most, is mostly mysterious), I did find some variations of the legend that say a tails-up penny is good luck – if you give it away that day or turn it over for the next person to find. Poem, photographs, and collage by me. Have a great weekend!



    1. Thank you! I am always reminded of a news report I saw on TV quite a few years ago about a man that paid off his mortgage with all the change he had found and saved himself over the years. They showed him wheeling in buckets on a dolly into the bank. It goes to show that it does add up (although this was long before the housing boom!).

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  1. I used to turn it over for the next person too…don’t know where I “learned” to do it though. “Uncontested pennies”–great image.


    1. I love that tradition – this was the first I had heard of it – I think that is much more positive than treating it like it is contagious (which is what we used to do as kids).
      Thank you!

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  2. Interesting variation, turning it over for the next person. (These days pennies are so disdained that I’m not sure I could successfully *give* one away…) But I love “Invoking the gods of small amounts”; that’s a phrase I will remember, as unlikely as I am to ever see large ones in my lifetime. 🙂

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    1. I really liked the idea of turning the tails-up pennies over too – it is a micro-sized pay-it-forward!
      People disdain pennies, but I never hear serious talk of getting rid of them either (like they did in Canada) – it’s a love-hate relationship that will probably continue for a long time.
      As someone who was a grad student for a long time, small amounts are the only ones I know! 🙂


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