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ORLANDO (CBSMiami/CNN) — A rare penny that was found in a teen’s cafeteria change in 1947 was auctioned off Thursday in Florida for a pretty penny.

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Don Lutes Jr. kept the 1943 copper penny he stumbled upon in his high school cafeteria seven decades ago in a safe behind a wall in his Massachusetts home.
(Source: Heritage Auctions)

The coin, mistakenly minted in copper in 1943, fetched $204,000, during a live auction at the Florida United Numismatics convention in Orlando.

Heritage Auctions, which oversaw the sale, estimated the coin was worth at least $170,000.

The penny is rare because it was minted during a time when all US pennies were supposed to be made of zinc-coated steel during World War II but instead, this one was minted in copper.

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Don Lutes Jr. discovered the coin seven decades ago and knew it was very rare, so he hung onto it.

The 1943 copper penny “is the most famous error coin,” according to Heritage Auctions.

Another 1943 bronze cent minted in Denver sold for a record $1.7 million in 2010. There are only 10-20 other coins like Lutes’, which was minted in Philadelphia.

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