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NATIONAL TREASURE (HUNTS)

Treasure hunts are trending

Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, modern day treasure hunts are proliferating against the backdrop of economic uncertainty brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. The following initiatives are providing paying participants with a fun experience (which are surely fewer and farther between these days) that could potentially end in a serious windfall for lucky questers. May the odds be ever in their favor.

JOHNNY'S TREASURE QUEST

Michigan jewelry store owner Johnny Perri was one of the many business owners who were adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. But then Perri decided to take his operation in an entirely new direction: he buried the contents of his entire jewelry store, worth around $1.4 million, throughout the state of Michigan and created his own treasure hunt, called Johnny's Treasure Quest. The booty? Diamonds, antiques, and solid bars of silver, among other valuables. To begin their quest, participants purchase tickets, which come with clues indicating the location of the treasures. At the end of the day, Johnny hopes that the experience itself will be just as valuable as the hidden riches.

THE GOLD TICKET

Self-proclaimed “Candyman” David Klein, the founder of Jelly Belly jelly beans, organized a nationwide scavenger hunt called The Gold Ticket treasure hunt. Up to 1,000 treasure hunters in each state can pay $49.98 per person to take part in this interactive treasure hunt, wherein participants will solve a series of riddles to find a golden necklace—and with it, a $5,000 cash prize. The best part? Everyone entered in the hunt is eligible to search for the ultimate Willy Wonka-esque treasure: a key to one of Klein’s candy factories (no, not Jelly Belly, but Klein's Candyman Kitchens in Florida) and a candy-making education.

BLACKBEARD TREASURE

The Blackbeard Treasure company bills itself as “the world’s only and largest treasure hunt,” and has hidden 10 treasure chests, each containing $1 million, in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. To get in on the hunt (slated to launch in November), participants have to pay $49.99 to receive a state-specific digital map and accompanying clues and riddles that will lead them to the coveted booty. On top of the treasure hunt, The Blackbeard Treasure will also film select hunters for its forthcoming reality TV show, “The Hunt for Blackbeard’s Treasure.