Jun 23, 4:56 PM (ET) FLOMATON, Ala. (AP) - Edmond Knowles started out saving pennies in a 5-gallon can. Thirty-eight years later, he was storing them in four 55-gallon drums and three 20-gallon drums, nearly 1.4 million in all. Knowles, who runs a gas station, cashed them in Wednesday, pocketing $13,804.59 after they were counted at a bank. "It's just something that happened," he said. "I started so long ago that I don't even remember why." He got some help along the way from customers at Ed's Service Station. "Customers would come by and say: 'Ed, throw these in your drum,'" he said. Coinstar Inc. (CSTR), a company that maintains coin-counting machines in banks and supermarkets, said Knowles' 1,380,459 pennies breaks the record of 1,048,013 held by Eugene J. Sukie of Barberton, Ohio. Coinstar spokesman George White said the company's research and U.S. Census data indicate that coins worth more than $10 billion are sitting idle in American homes. White said the amount collected by Knowles is about the same amount that passes through a person's hands over the years. "Ed just took the time to close his hand," said White.