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Phoenix man attempts to break world record by stacking over 1M pennies

PHOENIX – Three years and 6,360 pounds of pennies later, Cory Nielsen, 55, of Phoenix, believes he has created the largest penny pyramid in history.

He used 1,030,315 of the copper coins ($10,303.15) in an effort to break the previous record which was set in Lithuania with a little over 1 million pennies.

Nielsen said his creation is 44.6 inches tall, measuring 65 stacks pennies tall, 65 stack back and 65 across. Each stack contains 11 coins. Miraculously, none of the coins were bound together with any substance.

His goal to build the world’s largest penny pyramid began after creating a “small” pyramid comprised of 41,000 pennies. After showing a picture of it to his colleagues, the automotive marketing professional and his coworkers, wondered if he had set a record.

When Nielsen realized that his mini pyramid was far from a record, he was determined to set one. He originally though the record was only 626,789 coins set by a Colorado man a couple years prior.


Nielsen soon learned that even this mark was far from the record he was trying to break.

Thus, his real journey began.

During the three year building process, Nielsen took more than 400 days off and he estimates it took 1.8 year of stacking. Nielsen spent the majority of his free time building in his garage.

He spent many long hour alone building his penny monument but he had a lot of help when it was needed.

He received donations totaling 30,000 pennies and received support from his credit union who worked with him to make sure pennies were always at his disposal.

In order to be considered for a world record, Nielsen needed documented proof that he was the one who developed the structure. Originally, he wanted to make YouTube videos for friends and family to show what he was doing.

His first upload on June 28, 2016, was used as an introduction to his project which started with approximately 50,000 coins. Three years from that date, he uploaded his most recent video of the completed pyramid.

Nielsen submitted his record application to the Guinness Book of World Records, which was accepted, and is waiting for a surveyor to visit his home on Monday to verify the feat.

Once Guinness certifies the pyramid, Nielsen plans to tear it down and have his credit union retrieve the coins in using their Army Car Services.

When Nielsen receives the green light that his pyramid is officially the largest in the world, he plans to beat his own record, but this time, using quarters.

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