Millionaire Starts San Francisco Scavenger Hunt

Lauren Eissler Contributor
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A millionaire has been hiding envelopes of cash and posting hints for a scavenger hunt on Twitter.

He posts clues for the drop sites under his Twitter handle, with his bio describing the game as “an anonymous social experiment for good.” He also encourages the finders to post pictures of their catch on Twitter and tag him in them.

According to ABC News, the millionaire is a real estate investor. But this mystery man wants to remain anonymous, only saying that he’s between 35 and 45 years old.

“People complain that the price of real estate here is pretty high, and I have benefitted from that,” he said. “I wanted to do something fun for the city of San Francisco, something that would get people excited.”

He said that he’s already given away almost $4,000 since Thursday night, usually $100 in each envelope.

But he’s not keeping the fun in San Francisco — he’s planning to expand to New York and Los Angeles soon.

The millionaire said that he hopes more people will join in as he expands the game, but it might just spread to more people doing random acts of kindness.

He gave the example of paying for several cars behind you at a toll booth, with one of the people behind you possibly having more or making more money than you.

“You’re still doing a good thing because maybe they’re having a bad day or a bad week and you’ve lifted their spirits and brought a smile to their face,” he said. “People that don’t need money, per se, can still benefit.”

One game player said he and his partner hurried to a parking meter seconds after the hint was tweeted.

“It’s about 10 blocks from us, so we did a power walk there,” Richard Rodriguez said. “When we got to the parking meter it wasn’t there and we thought, ‘Wow, how could anyone have gotten here so fast? Then a guy was driving by and threw an envelope out the window. I guess he didn’t even have a chance to drop it off!”

Rodriguez got $66 and a lottery ticket worth $5. He said the money was great, but it was fun to do the scavenger hunt.

“It’s not a lot of money,” he said. “It’s not going to change your life. But the camaraderie it brings out in people is a lot of fun.”

The anonymous donor said he’ll keep hiding the money “indefinitely.”

“I’m giving right now about a thousand a day,” he said. “For me, that’s definitely manageable. I know that for most people it’s more than they earn, but I’m in the top 1 percent. I can keep doing this.”