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When Gold and his wife owned a liquor store in the 1960s in southern California, they experimented with pricing wine at 79 cents, 89 cents, 99 cents and $1.49. The 99-cent wine always sold better than any other pricing point, so they started pricing everything at 99 cents. In 1982 the couple launched a chain of 99 Cents Only stores; today there are 282 stores in the chain and the company is worth about $500 million. It's not clear who invented the concept of 99 cents as a price but the earliest printed advertisement discovered so far dates to 1880.