It was probably tails up, bad luck. [emoji1]I'm bumping this thread because I picked up a copy of the DVD of the movie Grease (1978, John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John) cheap. Was watching it.
There is a scene where one of the girls feels blue, but then she spots a penny on the pavement. "See a penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck," she recites. Her mood brightens. One of the other girls snatches the penny and gives it to Kenicke for good luck. But she drops the coin. Kenicke bends over to pick it up, but just then someone opens the car door, conking Kenicke on the head. Danny Zuko (Travolta) has to take over for the dazed Kenicke in the stock car race that ensues. ...
So the penny was not really good luck for Kenicke.