Trivia Question 12/15/11 – Pennies


If you have a 5 gallon Sparklettes bottle that is filled up with pennies, how much in dollars do you have?




You can’t get this figure exactly – it can vary based on how packed-in the pennies are, and on the shape of the bottle. A “real world” approach can only tell you how well packed in the pennies are relative to the shape of the container. In different containers, and under different circumstances, they pack themselves in differently (not to mention accounting for randomness).

You can compute the maximum though. See here:
d = 19.05mm
h = 1.55mm

V = π 9.75² × 1.55
V approx = 462.90386 mm³

There are 3785411.8 mm³ in a gallon.…

Thus the maximum number of pennies is:

total volume / volume of a penny =

3785411.8 / 462.90386 = 8177.53345

So 8,177 pennies at most, per gallon, so multiply by 5.

40,885 pennies, which is $408.85.

Since they don’t fit in there perfectly though, you are really looking at less. I would estimate that they pack about 80% efficiently, giving you about 32700 pennies, or $327.


We had 27 people check into the net tonight.  Of those, no one got my exact answer.  but  5 were within 10%.  Congratulations to:

  • KD6JEV- John ($320)
  • K6MSU – Ron ($325)
  • KD6NIW – Oliver ($321)
  • WA2RPY – Barry ($300)
  • AF6TT – Leon ($320)

Thanks to all who checked in and supported the net.


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