WAUSAU, Wis. — With a winter chill in the air, Anthony Iverson-Lloyd knows his go-kart won’t always start on the first pull.

What You Need To Know

  • Anthony Iverson-Lloyd started with a penny he found and wants to trade up for a house
  • He's been working on the project for one and a half years and is documenting his progress on YouTube

  • Once he reaches his goal, Iverson-Lloyd plans to give the house away

For a year and a half, he bartered his way up from a single penny to the go-kart. With each step along the way, the items became more valuable.

Nearby, Mitchell Haug looked on with interest as the engine sounded like it would fire up, then conked out.

Haug, not deterred, gave a pull and got it going. He drove three and a half hours from St. Cloud, Minnesota, for this. 

“I’ve just always wanted a go-kart, and I have a car that runs that I need to get rid of,” explained Haug. “So, why not get rid of it?”

(Spectrum News 1/Jon Fuller)

Haug came across Iverson-Lloyd via Facebook marketplace. He soon discovered the “Penny to a House” project and found the YouTube channel documenting the journey.

First Iverson-Lloyd takes the go-kart for a spin, then Haug. The deal was ready to proceed.

“Alright, I got a title, and I got leaner lease there,” said Haug.

For the go-kart, Iverson-Lloyd will get a 2011 Hyundai Accent, with a sketchy battery.

“I think this is going to be a super big step forward and the ultimate goal will be to reach a house,” said Iverson-Lloyd.

The lofty goal of reaching a house was originally intended with his mother in mind.

“That was always a dream I had, to go up to her and just slap that proverbial check on the table and be like, it’s done. You’re good. You can relax,” said Iverson-Lloyd.

Sadly, things didn’t work out the way he envisioned.

“Now that she unfortunately passed away, I’m hoping to be able to do that for somebody else,” said Iverson-Lloyd.

He plans to give the house to a stranger, hoping to make a difference in their life. It’s been quite the journey so far. Iverson-Lloyd explained his trades, starting with a penny he found on the ground.

(Spectrum News 1/Jon Fuller)

“I traded it for a bottle of maple syrup, for a life jacket and some ice cream cones, for a circular saw to a guy dressed as a robot, for an electric snowblower, for a boat that had a bad motor, for a laptop, for two smart-boards, for a snowmobile, for a John Deere riding lawnmower, for a youth 4-wheeler, for the go-kart, for this bad-boy right here,” said Iverson-Lloyd as he slapped the hood of the Hyundai.

Haug said he may have given up more in this deal, but he’s going home happy.

“I thought it was close enough. I figured if the go-kart’s worth $500-$600, is kind of mentally what I was thinking, the car’s probably worth about $1,200, but it’s going to a good cause,” said Haug.

Haug made the seven-hour round-trip with his sister, who drove separately, pulling a trailer for the go-kart. He thought this was a good opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause.

“It’s one of those opportunities where everything worked out perfectly and brought us here today,” said Haug.

He looked forward to driving his new toy.

(Spectrum News 1/Jon Fuller)

“I want to whip around in the yard and have a good time,” said Haug. “And try to get the wifey not to kill me for bringing home a go-kart.”

He plans to follow the progress. Iverson-Lloyd said he keeps in touch with many of the people he’s traded with so far.

Working full time and with a family of his own to care for, he had hoped to make more progress by now. He thinks eventually, handing over a house to someone will be worth all of his efforts.

“I know it certainly was for me and how difficult it is, especially now to get houses. I thought that would be something that I felt would be very life-changing for somebody,” he said.

Iverson-Lloyd is hoping the next trade gets him one step closer to the house, and one step closer to changing someone’s life in a big way.