A “would you rather” hypothetical situation from a year ago is doing the rounds for a second (or third) time on Twitter, and causing amusement. How many pennies make up $600,000, what’s the value of 600K pennies in USD, and how much would that many coins weigh?
How much is 600K USD in pennies, and how many dollars would 600,000 pennies be worth?
“Penny” is another word for the US one-cent coin. In the UK, the same word is used for the smallest coin denomination, denoting one pence.
There are 100 cents in a dollar, so $600,000 is equal to 60 million cents (600,000 × 100 = 60,000,000).
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Conversely, 600,000 pennies would be equal to $6,000 (600,000 ÷ 100 = 6,000). The easiest way to think about it is that you simply take away two zeros if you’re converting from pennies (cents) to dollars, and add two zeros if you’re converting from dollars to pennies.
So if someone asks you whether you’d rather receive 600,000 pennies or 60,000 dollars, go for the second option. Except, that’s not exactly what the “would you rather” causing such consternation on Twitter is asking.
Would you rather receive $60,000 in cash or $600K in pennies?
Aside from the inconvenience of having to carry around and convert $600K’s worth of pennies (more on how much it would weigh below), the answer is obvious.
$60,000 in cash = 60,000 USD.
$600,000 in pennies (which is also a form of cash) = 600,000 USD.
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Some people commenting on the original tweet appear to have worked themselves into a tangle. Meanwhile, for others, it’s blindingly obvious.
If there’s a dollar sign before the number, the number equals the number of dollars.
How much would $600,000 worth of pennies weigh in pounds and ounces?
A single one-cent coin, worth 0.01 USD, weighs 0.08oz (2.5g). It’s about a gram lighter than a British penny. A US penny is made of copper-plated zinc (5% zinc and 95% copper), according to All About Coins.
600,000 of them would therefore weigh 48,000oz (1,360,777g), or 3,000lb (1,360kg), or 1.5 US tons (1.36 tonnes).
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But 600K USD worth of pennies is 100 times as many pennies as 600,000 pennies. It’s 60 million pennies.
So, multiply all of those numbers by 100, and you’ll get how much $600,000 worth of pennies would weigh in pounds and ounces (or kilograms).
Assuming the pennies consistently weigh 0.08oz (2.5g) each, the answer is 4.8 million oz (136,077,711g), 300,000lb (136,000kg), or 150 US tons (136 tonnes).
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