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Stores offer machine to convert coins

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By Don Pace

Probably everyone in America has a coin stash that through the years keeps growing as people empty their pocket change. Some people take the time to count and roll their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, but most don’t have the patience.

The two Lowe’s grocery stores in Las Vegas now have an easier way to turn those coins into cash.

Ron Martinez, Lowe’s Supersave store manager on Mills Avenue, said the machines have been in the stores since December and get daily use.

“I never realized people in Las Vegas had so much change stashed, and this is a real convenience for everyone who doesn’t want to have to count their pennies and roll their change. Then if you take the rolls to the bank, they want account numbers and some places don’t accept a lot of rolled coins. So they can just come and dump it in the machine. It does charge 8.9 cents on the dollar, but people save in time that they don’t have to count their stored-up change, placing it in rolls and then taking the time to find somebody that will cash it in,” Martinez said.

Martinez said customers bring in coffee cans, gallon jugs, piggy banks and even backpacks full of coins.

“You put the money in the machine and follow the easy steps and you have two options — one is a cash voucher that you cash in at the service center or people can donate the money to charity,” Martinez said.

Martinez said if there’s ever a problem, his staff can help the customer right away. He said his staff can also open up the door and there’s a phone that is a direct line to the company’s service center and the center walks you through the steps you need to unjam the machine or any other assistance you might need.

Martinez said the biggest cashout he has seen is when a man with a backpack got a voucher for more than $300.