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Chicagoans dig for buried treasure, courtesy of @HiddenCash

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Following a series of tantalizing tweets from @HiddenCash spanning late Saturday night to late Monday morning, Chicago residents with admirable modern-day pirate skills scoured Millennium Park, Oz Parks, and North Avenue Beach for concealed envelopes filled with cash. California millionaire Jason Buzi, the human behind the Twitter handle @HiddenCash, chose Chicago as the lucky site of his latest escapade after previously hiding money-filled envelopes in New York City, Houston, and around California.

Initial tweets indicated that the cash was hidden in Millennium Park. A total of $2,000 was stuffed into twenty envelopes in fourteen varied locations within this downtown landmark. Hiding places included a trash bin south of the famous Bean, a stone picnic table east of the Bean, a bush just north of the Bean, and a banister by the stairs north of the Bean (notice a pattern?). Find a complete list of Millennium Park’s Bean-oriented hiding places on http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/06/15/chicagoans-search-for-hiddencash-envelopes/.

Josh and Meredith Highmark discovered one of the first envelopes in Millennium Park on Sunday morning. After grabbing a coffee, Josh heard from his father about the hidden cash near the Bean. Immediately after joining the city-wide reenactment of Treasure Island (albeit without the mutiny or talking parrot), Josh and Meredith found a cash-stuffed envelope behind a garbage can. Perhaps Josh and Meredith shared some of their randomly discovered cash with Josh’s father as an impromptu Father’s Day gift. See their story and accompanying adorable picture at http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/06/15/chicagoans-search-for-hiddencash-envelopes/.

Future tweets added big red X’s to Oz Park in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and North Avenue Beach as potential treasure sites. Just after 11am this morning and again a few minutes before noon, @HiddenCash tweeted clues about stashed money at the North Side Beach. These new clues instructed treasure hunters to find envelopes just north of Castaways, near the lifeguard tower, under a door, between recycling bins, under a beach chair, and inside a welcome sign.

Within minutes, about twenty envelope seekers were spotted scouring the North Avenue Beach. Lucky searchers who discovered free cash tweeted pictures of their booty. Pictures of these winners (who presumably are not die-hard soccer fans who spent their early afternoons glued to the Germany v. Portugal World Cup match) can be found at http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/HiddenCash-Stashes-More-Money-Around-Chicago-263313711.html and http://abc7chicago.com/news/search-for-hidden-cash-is-on-in-chicago/116449/.

It appears as if the treasure hunt is over for now, but who knows for sure? Jason Buzi has stated that he hopes lucky winners will share their prizes for a good cause, and he must think that Chicagoans have a particular proclivity to pay it forward if he continues to tweet additional @HiddenCash locations in the city. Keep your eyes on your Twitter accounts for any possible updates and practice your searching skills with some rousing games of Hide and Seek. If you can tear yourself away from the US v. Ghana match, that is.

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