Out of hundreds of submissions in a coin giveaway contest aimed at youth in northern Nevada, 8-year-old Garrett Allen’s entry was drawn at Southgate Coins of Reno, Nev., by Pati Falk, senior director for elementary education for the Washoe County School District.
Allen was awarded an 1808 Capped Bust half dollar.
The drawing was the climax of Southgate Coins’ four-month-long competition – launched during National Coin Week in April – designed to introduce children to coin collecting and help them link old coins to history. All entrants age 12 and under answered six questions pertaining to the year 1808.
After drawing Garrett Allen’s entry, Falk verified to attendees, including members of Reno’s Chamber of Commerce and local TV and newspaper reporters, that he had answered all six questions correctly. Proclamations commemorating the event were then read, including one from Reno Mayor Robert Cashell.
Allen told Southgate Coins owner Rusty Goe that he had nearly completed a “P” and “D” set of state quarters and that he was interested in many other types of coins such as old Lincoln cents. He said he is interested in history and that he has studied the Civil War a little.
When asked if he might take the 1808 half dollar to school and share it with his classmates, Garrett said, “probably not,” because he was concerned about losing it or possibly someone stealing it from him. Garrett wasn’t sure just how long he would keep his newly acquired half dollar.