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Posted at 04:53 PM ET, 07/18/2011

The winning number of pennies on the floor at Lincoln

It took 799,997 pennies to cover the floor at Lincoln. (James M. Thresher - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
To draw attention to his new restaurant, Alan Popovsky promised $250 to whoever guessed the exact number of pennies used to pave the main dining room at Lincoln downtown.

Exactly 2,838 guesses later, Popovsky has a winner: Capitol Hill resident Alida Sanchez, the director of brand development and partnerships for the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce. Her count of 799,997 coins matched the estimate provided by the American restaurant’s designer, Maggie O’Neill, says Popovsky, who e-mailed Sanchez with the good news July 11 -- but heard nothing until this afternoon, when an impatient reporter went on Facebook to see if there was an Alida Sanchez who might have dined at Lincoln.

There was.

“I’m very, very surprised,” says Sanchez, who figures she must have left an incorrect e-mail address on her ballot the evening she celebrated a business-related anniversary party at Lincoln. The cash prize is unexpected, she says; “I thought it would be dinner at the restaurant. Great!”

Did Popovsky ever think he’d have to part with the money? “I always thought someone would guess the number. With all the couch mathematicians out there, it was bound to happen.”

The restaurateur says he’s sticking with a similar theme for his next promotion, “a yearlong penny collection for my favorite D.C. charity.”

See more photos of Lincoln .

By  |  04:53 PM ET, 07/18/2011

Categories:  Restaurants

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