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How to find money in obscure places

Updated on December 12, 2013

In under one week I found money worth $10 (£6). The first time there was some change (it was a pound coin) that somebody had dropped in the canteen at work. Shining in a bowl holding plastic lids for the coffee cups was the little gold-coloured coin. Needless to say, I quickly pocketed it.

The second time came a few days later when I was walking home at night on a path across a field and I noticed a small fimilar-shaped piece of paper on the ground that I could just about recognise some of the markings on it. When I picked it up it was a five pound note (this is worth around eight dollars). I was really pleased when I picked it up and put it in my piggybank at home.

But this whole thing started me thinking and I remembered how as a child my friends and me used to find loosed change everywhere. I had found the equivalent of ten dollars in under a week. How much could be found by looking in the right places? This is a list of the best places to look for finding money.

Loose change: There are plenty of places to find cash
Loose change: There are plenty of places to find cash

Bars, pubs and clubs

When I was a child I was good friends with two brothers who lived on the same street as me. In the summer holidays every morning they would go to a pub with their mother who worked as a cleaner.

While she was scrubbing the toilets, the two brothers would go round all the soft rows of sofas and look down the gaps. Drunk people used to lose all kinds of things from their pockets, and some days these two kids would come home with the equivalent of up to $30 a day. This was all loose change that had slipped out of people's pockets down the gaps in public sofas.

This was amazing. At the time I used to get around two dollars worth of pocket money a week. And these kids were coming home every day with cash that they would buy a ton of sweets with. Needless to say I begged for them to take me. And when I did eventually get to go I came back with ten dollars worth of change.

Cahs often falls out of people's pockets at playgrounds
Cahs often falls out of people's pockets at playgrounds


Another place that my friends and me used to look for finding lost money was in playgrounds and parks. You know, the kind with swings, slides and climbing frames.

The most lucrative place was in the garden of a local pub. In the summer dozens of parents with their pockets full of loose change would visit the pub with their families. Often they'd take their young children into the garden to play. You could always guarantee that most dads would try to impress by swinging across the monkey bars, but loose some change in the process.

There were alwa plenty of children who had money in their pockets that had been given to them by their parents. Often this would fall out when they were on the swings or going down the slide.

On the ground was soft bark and wood chip to ensure that people didn't hurt themselves. At the end of every day me and my friends would rummage through this and pick up all the bits of loose changes. We'd always get a couple of dollars worth of cash a day that we could spend on treats.

Another great place for this kind of thing was in ball pits. Children who were falling around among the balls in the soft play area would often lose the change from their pockets. It would sink to the bottom and simply by feeling around on the ground we could pick up plenty of coins.

Slot machines and arcades

Slot machines, fruit machines and arcade machines are great places to salvage coins. Many people leave coins in the tray that returns winnings. Maybe that collected their winning and forgot to take the last coin. Who knows? Penny machines in arcades (the kind of mechanical games that push the money over a ledge) are great places to pick up change. Often money just slips off the ledge during the day.

Whenever I go into an arcade hall I always find a couple of dollars worth of change by quickly walking around and glancing in the trays. When you have around five arcade halls all in the same place, you can come back with the equivalent of ten dollars in just 30 minutes. That's better than the minimum wage.

Gamblers often leave change in the trays of slot machines
Gamblers often leave change in the trays of slot machines


The entrances and exits from supermarkets are great places to find cash. Often people who are just entering the shop take out their wallets and purses. As they do this, change often drops onto the ground.

People who are leaving through the exit are also often carrying bags, and fiddling around with their handbags, purses and wallets. Cash often falls on the floor here. Many people simply throw the change from their purchases onto the ground. I've seen people throw silver coins on the ground!

Most people are too embarrassed to go round picking up change from the ground. But what's the big deal? It's better that it remains in the economy rather than get swept away by the cleaners.


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    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Don't pick up that penny if it is tails...brings bad luck. Interesting hub sir. I use a metal detector myself.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 5 years ago from England

      Didn't realise how many other people do this. Thanks for all the interesting comments.

    • Rickrideshorses profile image

      Rickrideshorses 5 years ago from England

      Sixty pounds in one year! That's pretty good! Car parks seem like a great idea - hadn't thought of that one. Especially in 'pay and display' car parks where people have to use change in the machine.

    • YUMMommy profile image

      YUMMommy 5 years ago from USA

      I've found quite a bit of change at the grocery store. I haven't had much luck at parks in our area though. And Walmart parking lots seem to be the best spots for finding change. I've collected well over $20 in change over a year and a half time period. And that's not bad considering I wasn't actually looking for the change.

    • blairtracy profile image

      blairtracy 5 years ago from Canada

      Very unique and interesting hub. I had forgotten about the time where I would pick up every coin I would see. It was actually quite amazing how fast it can all add up. Thanks for reminding me. I should continue to do this!

    • Bretsuki profile image

      William Elliott 5 years ago from California USA

      Hello Rick, a very good hub.

      I used to pick up change in the street back home in England. People in the US don't use coins much it seems. So lean pickings here.

      One year I kept a record of how much and where I found cash.

      I found nearly sixty pounds in one year.

      In addition to the places you mention. My most profitable hunting ground were car parks (parking lots), Look near the driver or passenger door areas, it is surprising how many coins fall out of pockets as people pull coats out of their car. This is especially true after a rainy day.

      Good hub. Voted up and useful