Leigh Follestad with some of the uncut banknotes that comprise his world-record collection.

Penticton man counting on new Guinness record

Local business owner hoping to reset his own world record for largest collection of uncut banknotes

Under the scrutiny of a banker and a security professional, a Penticton man last week set out to smash his own Guinness world record for the largest collection of uncut banknotes.

Leigh Follestad is preparing to submit to Guinness the documentation necessary to confirm the new record of 212 sheets in 134 different denominations from 51 unique countries, numbers about double the current benchmarks.

He began accumulating coins as a boy, but it was an uncut sheet of US $2 bills he found in Hawaii that became the foundation for his collection.

“This is basically my baby since I was 10,” said Follestad, who owns the downtown Smart Shopper store.

The colourful collection, which includes rejects, proofs and special collectors’ editions, spans the globe, from Ecuadorian sucres to New Zealand dollars and Chinese yuan.

“Canadian money is just as good as the rest of them,” he added.

At first, Follestad found new additions through central banks, magazines and dealers, “then the Internet came along with eBay and that kind of thing and I started putting buying requests out.”

The collection, stored in a secret location, is now valued at tens of thousands of dollars.

He set the previous record in 2005 after lobbying Guinness officials to create the category. To establish the new record, he had to find two reputable community members to count the sheets of money and validate the submission.

Guinness “won’t send someone for this… but they’ll verify everything and contact these people and make sure that everything is legit,” said Follestad.

Kyle Gilbert, a CIBC business financial advisor who was one of the official counters, said the task was just a little bit outside his usual job description.

“It’s a first for me. I’ll do a lot of different things for clients, but that was definitely the first on the Guinness verification program,” said the 33-year veteran of the banking industry.

“This was quite different. Most entertaining, actually.”

Follestad expects to send off his application this week and hopes to find out by the end of the year if Guinness will accept the new record.



Just Posted

Old timbers grace new Timmy’s

The newest Tim Hortons just outside of Oliver was officially opened Saturday

Penticton Bantam Elks hockey win league title

The Penticton bantam Rec 1 BPO Elks team won the South Central Bantam Recreation Championship

Strong showing for local gymnasts

Local competitors do well in provincials

Okanagan-Similkameen region’s natural beauty subject of photo contest

The South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club invites regional amateur photographers to submit their photos

Penticton Vees erase two-goal deficit to defeat Trail

The Vees take Game 1 of the second round of the BCHL playoffs

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

Most Read