Making sure all 50 states are accurately portrayed is no small feat for John Ebert, who’s building a map out of 24,000 pennies. Here are some of his specific challenges:
• The hardest state to create: “No matter how hard I tried, West Virginia looks like an oval. It never comes out right.”
• The second-hardest: “Michigan, but it also sticks out by itself [into lakes] so you can play with it. Coasts are easier to do than borders.”
• Border patrol: “Tennessee is the biggest problem because it borders so many other states, and it’s hard to distinguish them” with so few variations in the colors of pennies.
• Sweating the small stuff: That Lake of the Woods knob on top of Minnesota took one set of pennies. Rhode Island took two, Delaware three and Connecticut seven.
• No-win scenario: “With Long Island, you could have the right size or the right shape; that’s the tradeoff you make.”