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A few yards from the small parking lot of Fort Scott Middle School in the Kansas town of the same name is a baseball field where two future major leaguers may well have played when they lived there. Adam LaRoche and brother Andy have moved on, to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers, respectively. But two weeks ago their hometown – and specifically that parking lot – were bidding for a different sort of distinction. Yup, a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records. How does a community of 8,000 or so folks in Middle America set a world record? One penny at a time.
From Tuesday night until almost 10 a.m. Saturday, they made a continuous chain of one-cent pieces, from side to side across the paved surface and back again. And again. And ... well, you get the picture. When finished, it measured 40.32 miles, almost six miles longer than the previous mark set in Malaysia in 1995. If you're keeping score at home, the effort took more than 10 tons of pennies. Or, put another way, 3,406,234 – roughly $4.25 per resident. And all of them donated to the cause. Which, in addition to aiming for a Guinness listing, was to provide seed money for an ambitious renovation project in the town park. OK, so if it took all that time to place the coins on the ground, how long was the cleanup? According to reports: four hours. There isn't a penny to be found there anymore, unless, of course, one has since fallen out of somebody's pocket.