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Have you ever done a local promotional treasure hunt?


CYBret
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Thursday my nephew showed up at my house with a copy of the newspaper. They're running a weekly treasure hunt. Clues are posted in various advertisements in the Thursday evening paper and people go in search of a medallion that has been hidden somewhere in the county. When found, you turn the medallion in to the newspaper and get $150.

 

We followed the clues...we were there! Just a half hour late! :D

 

Geocaching definitely helped me get to the final. Five years of sorting out puzzles and looking for great places to hide stuff was a big plus.

 

I know lots of newspapers, business associations and communities are doing this kind of stuff. Have you ever participated in one? How did you do?

 

I even know of one community where the local merchant association asked a local geocacher to design their treasure hunt....those poor poor people. :tongue:

 

Bret

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Have you ever done a local promotional treasure hunt?

No - I'd be all over this if I saw such a thing near me.

 

They run it weekly? Think you'll be trying it again?

 

Yeah. Weekly for the month of August. Next week is the last one. Each week is progressively harder.

 

The rub, though, is the locals can get their newspapers earlier than us out-of-towners. We'll be trying again next week.

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So, they run it for four weeks. Each week it gets harder. The locals get the first crack at it. And in the third week, with no head start, you stumbled into this, and missed winning by only half an hour.

 

I predict that by next week you will have figured out a way to gain the local's insider advantage, and through your superior geocaching skills, find the medallion first.

 

Please keep us posted. :D

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Oh, and on top of that, the previous week's treasure was located AT a geocache just a few miles south of my home.

 

I contacted the cache owner to let him know he might want to check on it.

 

Even though we didn't find this week's prize, the location would make for a nice micro too. :D

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Our County Tourism Board had the local State Park Manager (who NYGO managed to turn into a cacher), place a 7 part multi cache throughout the county, using the State Park, local historic locations, and local businesses as waypoints.

The cache is part of a sponsored contest to win a $250 travel/tourism package.

The contest is promoted in this years County Tourism Guide. The coordinates for the 2nd stage are hidden in a photo in the booklet. Also, each location used as a "point", is advertised in the Guide.

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A "Search for Gold" was held by one of the city newspapers. Daily picture clues in the newspaper to zero in on "the gold". There was a new contest every week and it ran for over a month. There were lots of caches that were trashed by Searchers. We didn't search but we were sitting at a picnic table one time and several searches came up to search around the table that we were sitting at.

 

Currently there is a South Eastman GPS Treasure Hunt Challenge! Twenty caches are listed on GC.com and you have to find 5, 10 or 15 to be entered in 3 prize packs are full of South Eastman Products!

Here's a link to one cache. link

 

We have found 15 so far but will probably make another trip (3-4 hours) to find the rest.

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A nearby city hid a railroad spike painted gold within the city limits and offered $250 for the finder. A few obscure clues were published each day. The first day was a description of the item. My cache on a railroad car in a park turned up missing that day. 5 of the 6 caches in town disappeared in the next 2 weeks. The good news is that 3 of the caches were turned in as the prize item so were recoverable.

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I have done some promotional treasure hunts in my area with a group of friends. We have been doing one that comes out in our local newspaper every February, and we finally found it this year. The prize included a pass to some local golf courses and a membership to a gym.

 

We also won two separate treasure hunts put on by a local radio station this summer. Both treasure hunts involved finding a "mini Xbox 360" which were turned in for real Xbox 360's.

 

Everybody in our group is a geocacher, and our geocaching experience really helped us find the second mini Xbox as it was hid in a location where one of our local multicaches begins. :rolleyes:

 

I personally believe that we are successful mainly because we find the enjoyment in treasure hunting from the thrill of the hunt, not in the spoils. I think we'd do a treasure hunt even if the prize was stick of gum!

Edited by Phat Kurle
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During Rose Festival (Portland, OR), we do something very similar. Usually the medallion is buried at it's final location though (definitely adds to the difficulty level). Hints are given on a weekly basis leading up to rose festival. Once the final hint is out, it's a mad dash to solve and find the medallion.

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Many years ago a local radio station (KHSL) sponsored a treasure hunt. They did it for a number of years with the prize being $1290 (they are located at 1290 on the AM dial). They hid the Kahissle Bug (take off on KHSL) somewhere in the community and each week they issued a new clue. People went nuts looking for the thing. The station finally stopped running the contest due to people destroying public and private property in their search for the thing.

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The town I live in has done three so far this year. You get a new hint each week for 4 weeks. The last hint basically tells you where it is. This is too cool though, starting this sat, Sept 1st, the people in parks and recreation have had so many calls on geocaches being placed in parks, that they are going to hide caches around town. One each week. From what I can tell it will only be out for that week. There is suppose to be something in the paper tomorrow about it. Either way, I am excited about it.

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So, they run it for four weeks. Each week it gets harder. The locals get the first crack at it. And in the third week, with no head start, you stumbled into this, and missed winning by only half an hour.

 

I predict that by next week you will have figured out a way to gain the local's insider advantage, and through your superior geocaching skills, find the medallion first.

 

Please keep us posted. :lol:

 

Dang...you're good. :D

 

My nephew showed up at my office at 1:50 pm with newspaper in hand. We used my laptop to copy the 18 clues into a Word document so we wouldn't constantly be shuffling through the newspaper.

 

At 2:05 pm we headed for Paris, Illinois. That's about a 15 minute drive.

 

At 2:38 pm I had this in hand:

 

Image276.jpg

 

A few minutes later we had a check for $150 in hand. The guy at the newspaper who interviewed us asked us why we were able to find it so quickly. I attributed a lot of it to geocaching. He said, "I've heard of geocaching, you're just following points on a GPS." So I explained puzzle caches to him. :D

 

Let's see how good you are. Here are the clues. It only took 3 or 4 of them for us to figure out where the final was.

 

Where do YOU think it was?

 

1. Arrrg! It’s me birthday and it’s time ta get reale…fer me coffers only hold piece of eight, so don’t dally over the tally of 7987712 Doubloons!

2. Like an anchor to chain…nothin’ is crimped from Link to Linc.

3. Aye! Before King came Henry . .. before Newman came da’ “Club”.

4. Ahoy! Pirate’s party hearty, but a place of peace dis’ be-just eye the first Parrish smartly.

5. Swing the lead! If me look is all yer after then ye be makin’ more than sixteen bits a week like the first.

6. Aoy! Pirates party hearty, but a place of peace dis’ be – just eye the first Bishop smartly.

7. You must not be loaded to the gunwalls to find the Third’s Fall …. Before the Wall.

8. Shhh! Cap’n Arrg is takin’ a chaulk on his log…so avast yer jowls!

9. Blimey! All woulda’ surely been runna-ground if it hadn’ a been for the steel magnate headin’ the right direction.

10. Melvil had the idea…900 you must go…the Reich of three awaits.

11. Tall as a mast for a hundred and three with no deadlights.

12. Sink me! It broke on seven and twenty-four and ninety-one, but a King took the bling and did not run a rig.

13. Alas, two mill tax! The levy be heavy but the ballast did da’ job.

14. At ye destination – the lady on high faces the destination

15. As history marks the spot, so does THE man of war.

16. O ‘Me, O’My, I’ve found O’Hair – top of da’ board – and what a present it makes ta spare!

17. Yo-ho-ho landlubbers, dis be da’ rutters…At the Y, give way’ a spy port.

18. Yo bilge rat, me treasure is listed in the logs, look to the German who needed a flog.

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So, they run it for four weeks. Each week it gets harder. The locals get the first crack at it. And in the third week, with no head start, you stumbled into this, and missed winning by only half an hour.

 

I predict that by next week you will have figured out a way to gain the local's insider advantage, and through your superior geocaching skills, find the medallion first.

 

Please keep us posted. :D

 

Dang...you're good. :D

:D:anibad:B)

 

Be honest though. You must have been thinking the same thing. :lol:

 

Congratulations, CyBret!

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Thanks! And now--as Paul Harvey would say--I get to tell "the rest of the story."

 

We got back home and I wanted to take a picture of us holding the medallion. I set my digital camera up on the handrail around my porch and set the timer. Just as I stepped away from the camera.....IT FELL OFF THE PORCH!!!!

 

Now, I have to say, it's been a pretty crappy camera lately anyway. I've lost a LOT of good pictures because it's not saving them right. I've been looking for one to replace it for a while, so it was no big loss.

 

After determining the camera was really dead, we came inside to hang out. There's a Woot-off going on today on w00t.com. That means they're blowing out item after item at low low prices and people are snatching them up quick. So I checked w00t.

 

They're selling a Tivo. Poo.

 

Checked again a few minutes later. Tivo is gone. They're selling a sound card. Poo.

 

Checked again a few minutes later. They're selling a digital camera! It's an HP Photosmart M525 6 megapixels! An upgrade from my old one!!!

 

I click the button to buy it. Went through the whole check out procedure and got it!

 

The final price...shipping and all.....

 

$74.99.

 

 

I won a penny yesterday! :)

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Minnesota has all kinds of these.

 

Even a full featured movie on the big one.

 

10k prize money.

 

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt started in 1952 and is sponsored by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press newspaper. The first medallion hunt featured a treasure chest, which was worth $1,100. Through the years, the prize has increased to its current level of $10,000. In 1988 the medallion was changed to lucite so hunters with metal detectors would not have an advantage.

 

Don't kid yourselves this is a professional thing. People sells mapbooks, guides, work in teams, take vacation, have expensive shovels, rakes, hoes, etc.

 

Many other towns in Minnesota do this as well for lesser amounts ($50-$2500).

 

Many Minnesota geocachers are from "medallion hunters".

 

I have done this kind of hunt in over 20 different towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Minnesota has all kinds of these.

 

Even a full featured movie on the big one.

 

10k prize money.

 

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt started in 1952 and is sponsored by the Saint Paul Pioneer Press newspaper. The first medallion hunt featured a treasure chest, which was worth $1,100. Through the years, the prize has increased to its current level of $10,000. In 1988 the medallion was changed to lucite so hunters with metal detectors would not have an advantage.

 

Don't kid yourselves this is a professional thing. People sells mapbooks, guides, work in teams, take vacation, have expensive shovels, rakes, hoes, etc.

 

Many other towns in Minnesota do this as well for lesser amounts ($50-$2500).

 

Many Minnesota geocachers are from "medallion hunters".

 

I have done this kind of hunt in over 20 different towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Edited by Kitch
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During Rose Festival (Portland, OR), we do something very similar. Usually the medallion is buried at it's final location though (definitely adds to the difficulty level). Hints are given on a weekly basis leading up to rose festival. Once the final hint is out, it's a mad dash to solve and find the medallion.

 

I was going to mention that, but I didn't remember the details except that you won something like $1000 shopping spree or something. I tried doing that when I lived there, but since I didn't know the area like a local would, I gave up.

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