Throwing coins into a fountain is a time-honored tradition, which we all share. The popular belief is that if you throw a coin into the water and make a wish, it will come true. But in reality, all of that money has to go somewhere. If not, all of those coins would block the pipes and cause damage in no time.
Depending on the location of the fountain and the owners, collected coins can be used for distinctive purposes: fountain maintenance, charity, or payment of public services.
In the city of New York, for example, the coins collected from fountains in public parks are generally invested into maintenance. However, residents of the Big Apple aren’t afraid to get their hands wet first. Maeri Fergusson, spokesperson for Parks and Recreation of the city, commented:
“Park employees clean out the fountains regularly (every few weeks). But usually, almost all of the coins have already been taken by people living in the city, so there really isn’t much to collect.”
Meanwhile, the Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy, has a long tradition: If you stand with your back to the fountain and toss a coin over your left shoulder, you’ll be guaranteed to return to the city.
Every day, thousands of people take part in this tradition, resulting in approximately 15 thousand dollars being collected every week, and almost 1 million dollars per year. Because of the huge number of coins, the charity organization “Caritas,” associated with the Roman Catholic Church, takes one hour per day to clean the fountain and distribute the money to the homeless. They even opened a low-cost supermarket in 2008, with coins collected from the fountain.
The lake at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, for example, collects around 12 thousand dollars every year and uses an effective cleaning system. It consists of a huge vacuum that collects everything that falls to the bottom of the lake.
Also, fountains at the “Mall of America” in Minnesota collect around 2 thousand dollars per month that are donated to charities and not-for-profits. The fountains at all Rainforest Cafes collect around 25 thousand dollars every year that are donated to environmental protection groups.
Similarly, at Disney World, thousands of dollars in coins are collected from wishing wells, fountains, and lakes. This money is donated by the theme park to foundations that look after children in temporary foster care.
Even if your wish doesn’t come true, you can be sure that if you toss a coin into a fountain, that money is going to somebody who needs it more.
Did you know about this curious fact? What do you think about it? Tell us in the comments and remember to share the article with friends and family!