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Planet Money

Episode 539: What's A Penny Worth?

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Planet Money's Jacob Goldstein and Robert Smith bought a washer for two cents in a hardware store in Manhattan.
NPR

Planet Money's Jacob Goldstein and Robert Smith bought a washer for two cents in a hardware store in Manhattan.

This show originally ran in 2014.

A penny is a strange thing. It is money, but it's just about worthless. It's near impossible to buy something with just one penny. (Trust us. We tried.) And yet, the penny doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

Today on the show: Three stories about the one-cent piece. First, we comb Manhattan to find something (anything!) we can purchase for one cent. Next, we talk to a guy who's betting on the government to kill the penny. And finally, we hear how one-cent transactions might just transform the internet.

Music: "Chelsea Boys" and "We Got It All Right Here."

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