ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) — A brand new 2012 Mustang usually goes for more than $30,000, but a Minnesota man just drove away with his dream car for pennies on the dollar.

In fact, St. Cloud resident Matt Crouse said he got his dream car at a whopping 98 percent off. He paid just $563 for a brand new car.

“I mean it purrs just like a kitty,” Crouse said.

Crouse found his second love on a sleepless night just weeks ago.

“It was about 2:30 in the morning. My wife was sleeping, and it was really hot. It was one of them really hot days,” Crouse said.

The uncomfortable humidity was keeping him awake, so he decided to enter a bidding war against, at first, two other bidders.

“The other guy sent me a message that said he fell asleep right before the end of it,” Crouse said.

The competition dwindled down to just one other bidder.

“I realized I won it, and I start yelling and she goes, ‘What are you trying to wake me up?'” Crouse said. “She probably thought it was something like one of them emails you get from people, like you win a billion dollars from a guy in Cambodia or something.”

At first skeptical, Crouse’s first love now openly welcomes his second love to the family. Crouse even lets his wife take the blue beauty for an occasional joy ride.

“It’s not too big of a loss if she crashes it,” Crouse said.

Crouse said he’s just grateful, and still waiting for someone to pinch him.

“So, I guess it pays to be humid in Minnesota,” Crouse said.

As for how the Fast Penny Cars website works, think lottery meets eBay. Bidders go online, increasing the vehicle price by two pennies each time. If you are the last bidder when the timer reaches zero, you win.

The cars are supplied by local dealers who sell the cars at face value to the website, which is based out of Michigan.

The founders of the website say they make revenue by taking a chunk of the money that all the other bidders put in the pot.

Comments (23)
  1. Denny says:

    Is this an advertisement? How much did the auction site pay for this article?

  2. Jay says:

    Tells you how much the news knows!! It wasnt but a week or two ago, and news sources were telling us to beware of these penny auctions. Sounds as though this man won big! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  3. userdude says:

    This is not a news story, it’s a scam. They charge you for each bid placed, in increments of two cents. At a dollar a bid, that’s $50 in fees per dollar the car eventually sells for, so the company actually made about $28k on the auction.

    A sucker born every minute, even among reporters I guess

  4. Mark says:

    This report is a little misleading, or at least could have done a better job of helping viewers understand the risks associated with this service. Specifically, anyone who bids on a product and loses (with the exception of the 2nd place bidder who receive a fair credit) loses however much they bid. In this particular case of the 2012 Mustang, and as an example, if the 3rd place bidder’s last bid was $557.00, he or she would have lost that money. Essentially, it’s like gambling. The probability of losing your money, based upon the number of bidders, is considerable. There are more losers than wiinners here.

    1. Kim says:

      Yea, they wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t make more money than they give out.

  5. Kate says:

    Wow, those kind of sites are such scams. The money that everyone bids is lost, if you don’t win. I bet they just let someone win now and again for the publicity and as bait. Check out episode #305 of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe Podcast at

  6. Xylonjay says:

    Wow that was a waste of $40!!!!!!!!!!!!
    At least when I bid on ebay I get to keep my money to bid on some other item!

  7. mojo jojo says:

    Wow these things are so greasy. totally unregulated and easy for auction sites to manipulate. i can’t believe that WCCO actually reported on this, I’d bet that there’s something slimey going on here ie. someone got a kickback. How does something like this make the news, tomorrow is there going to be a report on some amazing snake oil?

  8. dphilips says:

    Just look at the idiot reporter!!

  9. The Vanguardian says:

    userdude was almost right, it’s even worse. When bidding on a car, it takes 2 bids to up the price by 2 cents. So they made $56,300 on a $30,000 car. (If this guy made half the bids, he paid $28,150 + $536 for the car.)

    Reading the fine print:
    The second place finisher gets $300 worth of bids.

    Everyone’s can ask for a coupon worth $1 per lost bid, good toward the purchase of a new car through their dealership partners. “Your coupon can be used in conjunction with all other applicable rebates and discounts, not to exceed maximum allowable discount for the vehicle”.
    Their example is a max discount of $1,100 on a $30,000 car. The dealer should have more discounts than that before you use your “coupon”, not only that, but you’re stuck with buying from their dealership partners, who can easily up their price just for the Fast Penny Cars customers.

    WCCO TV should do another report on how they too were fooled by this rip-off.

  10. #1 Sucker says:

    I am a sucker! Don’t believe everything you see on the news! I signed up today and bout 50 bid for the special price of $40.. I bid on a gas card. For every penny I bid, my account went down by 1 bid which means every bid is $1. Thanks WCCO for reporting this ‘amazing’ story. My own fault for believing the news.

    1. #1 Sucker says:

      Sorry, I meant bought instead of bout…dang keyboard!

  11. john says:

    earlier this summer another guy won a car for about a few hundred as well from that site. this is the second article I’ve seen this summer.

  12. Kristine says:

    Thes ewbsites charge you for every bid you make, don’t fall victim to the scam!

  13. Matthew Franklin Crouse says:

    its not really a scam its just like going to the casino… you would never say that a slot machine is a scam because when you go to the casino you expect to lose but hope to win. or the powerball do people that buy hundreds of dollars in powerball tickets expect that they are going to win the lottery no but it would be cool if it happened, but this site doesnt have the long shot odds of winning that powerball has for what you can spend actually the odds arent really that bad for the reward its up to you how much you are willing to spend to try to win

  14. swizzle says:

    You pay $1 for a penny bid, so you do the math on how muc he spent to win this aution. Really, no dealership is going to give a car to an aution unless they can recoup their investment and the auciton site would be bankrupt if they really sold a $30,000 car for under $600.

    Anyone who thinks they can win is fooling themselves

    1. Matthew Franklin Crouse says:

      I only spent 40 dollars on the bid starter pack, but you are right many people spent enough to make the difference in the price and didnt win anything me on the other hand only spent the 40 dollars and that was all i was going to spend, I do think that if you are willing to risk a little money it would be very stupid to be like the guy who came in second place and spent almost 8 grand in bids and didnt win, at some point I think you have to know your own limit and expect to lose but hope to win

  15. Carmon says:

    This site is a scam!!!! I just lost my money. Will never do this again. Please please please be warned!!!! You will regret ever cent!

  16. Penny Auction Watch says:

    I’ve been following penny auctions for over 2+ years and was interviewed by WCCO last summer. I tried to contact Matthew via Facebook but did not receive a response. Thanks for posting this CBS. There was a lot of controversy surrounding this weekend’s auction on FastPennyCars – a few bidders told me they won only for the item to restart. I also had a question for Matthew, were you friends with Jon Mason, the first winner of a FPC car before or after you won? Thanks, -Amanda

  17. Maria Garcia says:

    This is one of the most legit sites out there. It is far from a scam. I won several gas cards worth over $100 each for as little as 2 or 3 bids. Received them within 3 days! If you know you are risking money to play by purchasing bids and then don’t win, how can you call it a scam?
    When you purchase a Lotto ticket and lose do you call the Lottery a scam?
    Any business exists to try to generate a profit so why is it scam for this site to want to generate a profit? No one makes a person buy bids and participate in the auctions. If you choose to take the risk, you have no one to blame but yourself if you are not the winner. I don’t blame the lottery commission when I lose the lotto. There is really very little differenence. A scam would be if a “fake” car was offered and no on ever received the winnings. That is not the case with this site. Evey car auction winner was delivered their brand new car.

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