This seemed like a fabulous idea, so I thought I'd give it a go myself. However, there seemed to be a risk of people not getting it and just thinking they had been dropped by accident.

I wanted to make it obvious that there was something going on behind it all and to let the people finding the pennies know that. After some thought I decided to type up a small note to add to the pennies.

’Find a penny, pick it up. All day
long you’ll have good luck.’
Have a nice day!
If you could drop in a msg to say
Where you found this that would be
This address is now invalid

I placed one of those free on-line guest books on the web address so that people could write in if they found a penny. After that came the preparation. I cello-taped (scotch taped for Americans) the notes, folded up small with 'open me' written on the outside, onto the pennies and whacked them in a small bag that I could stash in my pocket.

I then walked around town for an hour placing them in places where people would feel the need to pick them up. I was hoping the thought pattern would go something like this.

’Hmm a penny’
‘What a weird place to put it’
‘Why’s it stuck to this car-parking meter
(Picks it up) ‘What’s this attached to the back?’
(Opens up the note & reads it) ‘Weird, maybe I’ll go have a look at this’
(Smiles & has monotony of normal day broken up!)

So I stashed all the pennies around town in places that would hopefully make people pick them up e.g.

  • On top of taps
  • Stuck to ATMs
  • Stuck to benches
  • In shop keyholes
  • Next to library computers
  • Balanced against shop windows
  • Balanced against products in shops

A couple of hours later I checked the guest book and three people had already signed it. By the next morning there were 5 and I’d only stashed 38 coins. I’m going to get some more pennies and repeat the experiment to see how many people I can get to sign this thing just through curiosity.

Why don’t you do it too in your town? Just copy the message into word on about 9pt Arial and get hiding those coins. We could see how many countries and places there are replies from!