Twitter Scavenger Hunt, Social Experiment For Paying-It-Forward
New Yorkers and tourists are scouring the boroughs of New York City this weekend in a massive treasure hunt created by a California millionaire and self-proclaimed 'philanthropist-for the-people' Jason Buzi. Started in San Francisco, it's a viral campaign that is prompted by posted clues on the Twitter account @HiddenCash to direct people to where Buzi buried some cash.
In a CNN interview, Buzi went public indicating his 'social experiment' started with an anonymous act of giving in the San Francisco Bay area and will be broadened very soon for nationwide and international hunts.
The campaign's only two requirements were that once the money is found, that 1- once the lucky 'hunter' finds the cash, they 'pay-it-forward,' the gesture made popular in Haley Joel Osment movie of the same name, and 2- you post a tweet when you find the money.
"I've done well and some of my friends that are involved with it have done very well as well, and we wanted to give back." Buzi said. "This was like a fun way to give back to the community."
With the first-drop clue appearing in a tweet that noted: "Mr. Grant 50 and Miss Liberty 23 had a large and expensive outdoor wedding, with many guests," it eventually became obvious that the Grant's and Liberty's referred to the hidden fifty-dollar bills and silver dollars.
In turn, the clues narrowed down the exact locations like this one referencing the pond in Central Park.
Buzi said his favorite winner to date was a 14-year-old girl who found almost $200 and then cried tears of joy whendeclaring she was going to send the cash to her sick grandmother in Mexico. "Even what many of us would consider a relatively small amount, to this girl, it meant the world," he said. "That was very moving to see."
Another winner, Stephanie Culff said her $50 find was earmarked for Dad: "Since its Father's Day, I'm gonna give this to my Dad and he can use it as he wishes. Happy Father's Day," she said.
While Chicago and Houston are two domestic destinations slated for future 'Hidden Cash' hunts, Buzi is underway with plans to conduct international give-aways in Paris, London and Madrid.
When it was tweeted by @thekylestevens that even a "goose was looking for the cash," one could only imagine a missed opportunity for Buzi to have deployed a goose and "golden eggs" into the treasure hunt. Oh, well, perhaps next time.
Oh, and by the way, if anyone knows what that cryptic number "23" refers to in the clue about "Ms. Liberty 23," please comment below. Understand Grant's identity revealed on the 50 dollar bill, but a Silver Dollar is a dollar, isn't it? -- unless Buzi was taking into account inflation? What's your take?