School-Safe Puzzle Games

Penny out of the box

Magic Euro Coins

Seven pennies are put into a little box, all of different date.  A random person from the audience is asked to take one, and pass it around, everyone taking note of the date and the general appearance. After the last  person examines the penny, she returns it to the box.  Putting your hand into the container,

you surprise everyone with your magic skills by picking out the correct penny. How is this possible? (without any special props, sleight of hand, or “tricks”?)

If you can figure it out, you can enter your answer below. Will keep submissions masked until Wednesday,thanks.

26 Comments to “Penny out of the box”

  1. scottk | Profile

    It would be the only one that is warm from hand contact.

  2. Ari | Profile

    Pick the penny that feels warm.

  3. Mehmet Karatay | Profile

    The coin is warm?

  4. the_god_dellusion | Profile

    Perhaps you felt to see which penny was the warmest(least cold) as it was held by so many hands….

  5. jason | Profile

    It would be the warmest penny in the box…from all the handling…

  6. michaelc | Profile

    How about the warmth of the penny? Since it has been handled by everyone in the audience it’s bound to be warm to the touch, unlike the others that haven’t been handled at all.

  7. auntmei | Profile

    You took out the one that was warm!

  8. Blusummers13 | Profile

    The correct penny is warm since everyone in the audience touched it.

  9. tad | Profile

    The penny will be warmer than the rest.

  10. Oneiric | Profile

    Well the six other pennies left in the box are colder than the one everyone touched. You take the “warmer” one and you’re on the go.

  11. Denita TwoDragons | Profile

    The pennies are:

    An Australian penny,

    A British pre-decimal system penny,

    A British post-decimal penny,

    A Canadian penny,

    An Irish pre-decimal penny,

    An Irish post-decimal penny,

    An American penny

    Each has different weights, sizes and designs, making finding them by feel very easy. They’re all genuine and so there aren’t any real “tricks”…

    Or did I just make it too complicated? :-)

  12. Bobo The Bear | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    After that much passing around, the penny should be warmer than the others (if you have a sensitive touch).

  13. poopsicle | Profile

    the one that was passed around will be warmer than the others

  14. Jimmy Anders | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    It would of course be warmer than all of the other pennies, assuming that they all began at room temperature, which seems a reasonable assumption.

  15. Skyhawk | Profile

    After passing around the coin, it would be slightly warmer than the rest of the coins in the container.

    So one can just pick, from the stack of coins, the coin that is warmer than the rest to get the correct penny.

  16. Mashplum | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    The correct penny will be warmer after all that handling.

  17. Obiwan | Profile

    Personally, I’d try to pick the warm penny, since copper is a good conductor of heat (from the hands of the audience).

  18. gpraghuram | Profile

    The penny passed around will be warm compared to other pennies which is inside the hat.
    So when taking out the penny pick the penny which is warm.

  19. NitzOO | Profile

    I would pick the warm coin.

  20. stathis_p | Profile

    I guess it will be warmer than the others, as so many people toucheed it

  21. hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Does the last person have to be a she? :D

    I am not sure by what props mean.

    Does “everyone taking note of the date and appearance” include me?

    Can we see the inside of the box?

    The coins could be covered with ice on one side. The audience will make the ice melt on the chosen coin. Or the coins’ temperature could be low in the container.

    Can the pennies be of different size or color (perhaps from different countries, or just color coated)?

    Can the container be a cylinder where the coins get stacked (last in has to be on the top)?

  22. Kllr Wolf | Profile

    The penny everyone has been handling will be warmer than the rest, therefore, you pick up the warmest penny.

  23. BillyPilgrim | Profile

    The correct penny will be warm from everyone touching it.

  24. RK | Founder | Profile

    copper is a good conductor,but several other interesting ways (Hex & DenitaTwoDragons) to accomplish the same end are also listed above

  25. Denita TwoDragons | Profile

    LOL! I didn’t even think about the warmth of the penny… :-)

  26. hex | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Thermoception or thermoreception is the sense by which an organism perceives temperature.

    How small can the temperature difference be and remain detectable by the sense of touch?

    I doubt the audience warming the penny would work in hot weather ;)

    My version of the warming effect (the coins’ temperature could be low in the container) is more plausible.

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