Jennifer Taylor

May 31, 1966 - Mar 19, 2021(54)

The penny story

How few pennies shaped my life

My grandma was 89 when she passed away. On the day that she died I found a penny wedged into the sole of my shoe. Just a coincidence, I’m sure. But then I start finding pennies everywhere. But they’re pennies, right? They’re supposed to be everywhere, so maybe I was just grasping for signs. My academic advisor knew I was feeling sad, so she suggested that I study abroad. Of course I wanted to go to Italy, but even with scholarships it was like $10,000 more than regular tuition- so I didn’t even want to ask my parents. Fast forward a few months to Grandma’s birthday, when my family forces me to go to a remembrance mass. I’m not super religious so I’m sitting there the whole time thinking: ‘This is such bullshit.’ But then that night I had the craziest dream. I’m at a Cumberland Farms gas station near my house, scratching off a lottery ticket, and suddenly I start laughing because I won a bunch of money. The next day I text my friends that we’ve got to buy a lottery ticket. And when I met up with my friend Cassie after work that night, we headed straight to Cumberland Farms. I bought one lotto ticket. $5 Diamonds. I’d barely ever played before, and I’d certainly never bought a $5 scratch off. As soon as we got back to the car, I grabbed a penny and started scratching. Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ was playing on the radio. When I get to the third row of numbers, BAM. I had a match. $10,000. Enough to cover one whole semester in Florence.”

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