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Alabama Man Sets New World Record Cash-In of Largest Penny Collection; More Than 1.3 Million Pennies Cashed In Using Coinstar Machine at Local Escambia County Bank.

FLOMATON, Ala. -- Coinstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSTR) customer Edmond Knowles today broke the world's record of the largest-ever single cash-in of pennies, totaling 1,308,459 pennies (or $13,084.59). The cash-in took place at the Flomaton, Ala., Escambia County Bank's Coinstar machine.

The pennies, which Knowles stored in four 55-gallon and three 20-gallon oil barrels in his garage, weighed more than 4.5 tons. The collection set a new world record as well as broke Coinstar's existing record for the most pennies cashed in by a customer. The previous Coinstar record was 1,048,013 pennies (or $10,480.13) set in November 2004 in Barberton, Ohio.

Knowles started his collection because he appreciated the value of a penny. "It takes pennies to make money. They're worth something or they wouldn't make them," he said. But after 38 years, he's tired of Lincoln heads. "No, I don't ever want to see another penny...perhaps I'll collect a few dimes."

Sixty-two-year-old Edmond Knowles has owned and managed Ed's Service Station since 1986. He started collecting to create his own retirement fund to supplement his social security. He has been collecting pennies since shortly after he got married in 1966. Initially, he started collecting and adding to a small jug when he was an employee at the station where he's worked since 1962. After he became owner, he had additional help by swapping out pennies from store business each day and contributions from family/friends that saw his jug turn into a five-gallon can, then a 55-gallon drum.

When his wife suggested he should cash them in while he was still able, they realized it would take some time and effort. His local bank, Escambia County Bank, was coincidentally in the process of installing a Coinstar machine, which was provided through Financial Supermarkets, Inc., Coinstar's marketing partner for financial institutions. Coinstar, Inc., the leader in self-service coin counting, has more than 12,000 kiosks and its patented technology makes the service reliable and easy to use. Coinstar machines count up to 600 coins per minute, saving consumers the time and effort of sorting and rolling their accumulated coins.

"The Coinstar machine is a great service and allows us to provide our customers with a simple way to cash in their coins," said Jim McCutchin, vice president and cashier, Escambia County Bank. "In Edmond's case, let's just say our tellers are breathing a sigh of relief that we got the Coinstar machine installed instead of having to count all that change by hand."

Knowles plans to use the new found wealth for retirement, home repairs and emergency medical expenses.

Coinstar estimates there is more than $10.5 billion in loose change sitting idle in American homes. To date, Coinstar has helped consumers in more than 290 million transactions convert their loose change into more than $10 billion in spendable cash.

About Escambia County Bank

Flomaton is a full-service, commercial bank with 22 employees and total assets of $95,000,000. Escambia County Bank opened March 14, 1924 and continues to operate under their original Charter (81 years). Main office is located at 2151 Ringold Street, Flomaton, AL 36441. Bank President and Chief Executive Officer is Mr. J.R. Jones.

About Financial Supermarkets, Inc.

In an agreement signed in 2004, FSI markets and distributes Coinstar(R) coin-counting machines to financial institutions throughout the United States. Financial Supermarkets, Inc. became the first company to license the in-store banking concept in 1984, and continues to provide leading-edge turnkey design and construction of in-store banking facilities nationwide. FSI's expertise includes matching financial institutions with retail grocery partners in communities across the U.S. FSI enjoys a working relationship with the top grocery chains from coast to coast.

About Coinstar, Inc.

Coinstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:CSTR) is a multi-national company offering a range of products and services consisting of coin counting, electronic payment solutions and entertainment services. The company's front-of-store offerings can be found at convenient retail locations including supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchants, convenience stores, and restaurants. American Coin Merchandising Inc., Cell Cards of Illinois, L.L.C., and Coinstar E-payment Services, Inc. are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Coinstar, Inc. For more information visit: www.coinstar.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2005
Words:699
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