Quarter Past Stupid

U.S. Bicentennial Quarter

THE IMAGE: The two sides of a purportedly super-valuable 1976 U.S. Bicentennial quarter casually displayed against the backdrop of a lawn chair on the fingertips of someone who doesn't seem overly concerned about losing it.

THE BAIT: The possibility of finding a life-altering million-dollar coin amid the change you got back from purchasing a Mega Size bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos at a 7-Eleven while too high to successfully insert your debit card into the chip reader.

THE TARGET: People who wistfully dream of an early retirement despite never having actually gotten a job, people who own metal detectors, people who remember what a "coin" is.

THE STUPID: A grand total of 1.7 billion Bicentennial quarters were released into circulation in 1975-76. Today a circulated Bicentennial quarter is worth ... a quarter. An uncirculated Bicentennial quarter is worth maybe a couple of bucks. Of course, as is the case with any coin, certain extremely rare minting errors can make a tiny fraction of Bicentennial quarters worth considerably more, sometimes as much as tens of thousands of dollars. You don't own one of those quarters. However, if you're willing to live in poverty, you can always retire whenever the hell you want, regardless of whether you have a Bicentennial quarter or not. So, technically, the sponsor's exciting headline is true! Hurray!

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