The frenzied scavenger hunt for large sums of cash hidden in public hit New York on Saturday, with $2,000 in envelopes stashed across Central Park and Brooklyn.
The brainchild of a group of wealthy friends in California, it is the first time the treasure hunt comes to New York, having sparked Internet-driven chases on the West Coast.
“Our biggest day ever! Houston, Mexico City, NYC today! Be safe, be kind, tweet when you find!” the @HiddenCash handle wrote on twitter kicking off the hunt at 10am. The 20 white business envelopes, $50 in each, carry a handwritten message on the front: “Twitter @HiddenCash. Tweet photo when u find. We heart NY.”
The money comes from wealthy real estate investor Jason Buzi and a group of anonymous friends, who have given to charity in the past but wanted to do something a bit more fun. A friend of Buzi’s from San Francisco, who gave his name only as Thierry, spoke to reporters as he hid $1,000 in Central Park before setting out to drop another $1,000 in Brooklyn.
“Jason was thinking about doing something a little bit different, more fun – maybe smaller quantities that won’t change anyone’s life, or maybe it will in a different way, depends what they do with it” Thierry said.
“It’s actually encouraging people who find the money and don’t have a particular need to pay forward and help someone in need,” he added, his face hidden by dark sunglasses and a jet-black beard.
After Saturday’s hunts in New York, Houston and Mexico City, there will be more across the United States, he said.
New York is “the big one” and “definitely one of the places we had to come to”, Thierry said. It had taken time, he explained, because the friends didn’t know anyone here. In the end, Thierry volunteered to fly out for three days and supervise the cash drops.
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