Here’s What Happens To All Those Coins Tossed Into Fountains

Besides bringing wishes to fruition (obviously), have you ever wondered what happens to the coins that are tossed into fountains?

While it seems an unlucky move for the person charged with removing the cash, coins can clog a fountain’s filtration system and need to be cleared out on a regular basis.

Here’s how a few different places around the world clear their fountains of coins and what they do with the money:

New York City

In New York City, according to The Atlantic, “entrepreneurial New Yorkers” are responsible for scooping out many of the coins tossed into fountains there. Parks staff is responsible for clearing out the remaining coins every few weeks, and the money collected often goes toward maintaining the fountain’s upkeep.

new york city fountain photo
Photo by dsearls


The Trevi Fountain, in Rome, is a famous coin collector. Tourists are supposed to toss a coin over their shoulder into the fountain in order to ensure they return one day. Officials pull as much as $4,000 a day in coins from the Trevi Fountain, and the majority of it goes to a supermarket for the needy, according to the BBC.

Mall of America

Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., collects about $24,000 a year from its fountains and ponds. Nonprofits can submit applications to receive a cut of the funds collected.

mall of america photo
Photo by cliff1066™

Walt Disney World

The thousands of dollars in coins that are collected from fountains and waterways around Disney World go to support foster children living in Florida. Now there’s a cause worth tossing a coin for.

walt disney world fountain photo
Photo by Rhys A.

Photo by Randy OHC

[h/t Smithsonian]