‘Hidden Cash’ millionaire founder to bring treasure hunts to London this weekend
Twitter clues will reveal locations of £100 packages stashed across capital
The millionaire retail tycoon behind the “Hidden Cash” Twitter feed has said he will be launching his first treasure hunts in London this weekend.
On Saturday, packages containing £100 in cash will be hidden across the capital, reportedly starting with a park in the centre of the city.
They will be the first “drops” to take place outside the Americas since the Hidden Cash project took the US by storm just over three weeks ago.
The “anonymous social experiment for good” sees clues to the locations of bundles of money posted on the Twitter profile @HiddenCash, which now has more than 600,000 followers.
Its founder has now been revealed as 43-year-old San Francisco property investor and house “flipper” Jason Buzi, who according to an NBC Los Angeles investigation has a history of controversial real estate deals.
Mr Buzi insists that his motive has always been simply to get people together enjoying the hunt, as well as encouraging winners to “pay it forward” if they can.
A man searches in the sand for one of 36 buried plastic Angry Bird orbs filled with hidden cash in Hermosa Beach, California Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper Mr Buzi revealed that, despite the international media coverage the project has received, he and a number of wealthy associates involved have only actually given away between $10,000 (£5,900) and $15,000.
But in that same interview Mr Buzi announced plans to roll out Hidden Cash internationally, first to Mexico City and then London, Paris and Madrid.
Yesterday the official profile for the project tweeted: “Yes, it's true. We are crossing the pond and heading to EUROPE! First stop: Where else? London, England of course! This Saturday.”
BIG plans for London. Lots of money coz a pound is worth almost two dollars.— Hidden Cash (@HiddenCash) June 16, 2014
And Mr Buzi told the Telegraph he had employed a man who works near Birmingham to make first 20 drops in and around a “yet-to-be-decided large park” in central London.
The clues to their whereabouts will be put out on the main feed – despite a spin-off “HiddenCashUK” account appearing last month, there are no plans to launch a long-term British subsidiary.
While London and the rest of Europe are being covered, drops will also continue to be made in US cities including Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, New York and of course San Francisco.
“We want to see how London goes first and then we’ll decide whether to expand it around the UK,” Mr Buzi said. “Londoners are big Twitter users so I’m sure there will be quite a crowd. You guys seem to love a treasure hunt so it could become a scramble for the money.”
One lucky winner posted this image to Twitter saying @HiddenCash had 'made our day' Mr Buzi was first confirmed as the secret millionaire behind Hidden Cash when he gave an anonymous radio interview and Inside Edition, using forensic voice analysis, matched it to a podcast about real estate that he recorded in 2010.
He has since rejected claims that Hidden Cash is a promotion linked to his off-market property buying, and insists he preferred it when he was anonymous because it was easier to make the drops himself.
He has visions for the project going far beyond its current scope, and said his team will continue to organise the treasure hunts for at least another six months.
“We want this to be a global movement,” he said. “We are not trillionaires, but we earned a lot of money in our lives and want to pay it forward, just as we want all the winners to pay it forward too.”
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