Mystery man drops cash across San Francisco sending social media followers on #epic treasure hunt

An anonymous man with the Twitter handle @HiddenCash has been hiding money throughout the city since Friday, leading scores on a treasure hunt.

SAN FRANCISCO // Someone dropping envelopes full of cash across San Francisco has caused an international frenzy on social media.

An anonymous man with the Twitter handle @HiddenCash has been hiding money throughout the city since Friday, leading scores on a treasure hunt.

His Twitter following rocketed from a few hundred on Friday to more than 120,000 and counting by yesterday.

One of his clues on Tuesday told followers to “find Mr Franklin along the ‘crookedest street’, (towards the bottom).”

The solution to the riddle revealed a US$100 bill (Dh367) at the bottom of Lombard Street – the thoroughfare popular with tourists that’s best known as the “Crookedest Street in The World”.

Hidden Cash’s anonymous creator said his giveaways were a “social experiment for good”. He claimed to make his money from San Francisco’s lucrative real estate market, and hoped that winners would also “pay it forward”.

Two of his winners said that they did just that.

Sergio Loza, 28, of San Francisco, said he saw a clue with the message “Early bird gets the worm”. He raced out and found an envelope with $50 inside taped to a parking meter in the city’s Mission district.

Mr Loza said he spent $30 on clothes for his 2-year-old niece’s birthday, and also gave her the remaining $20. “I didn’t spend it on myself,” said Mr Loza, a security guard. “It feels good to give, especially in these times.”

Adam Wenger, 27, said he won $200 by finding two envelopes about two hours apart on Friday in the city’s South of Market district. One envelope read, “With Love, from @HiddenCash. Leave $20 somewhere and pay it forward.”

Mr Wenger, a web producer for KGO-Radio, bought pizza for his co-workers on Tuesday and planned to pay a $100 parking ticket. “It’s crazy,” he said.

The man behind @HiddenCash said that he planned to leave envelopes in San Jose yesterday, Los Angeles this weekend and maybe New York City next month.

Followers have requested similar gestures in Alabama, Washington, DC, and as far away as Pakistan with various hashtags ranging from #kindness, #generous, #epic and #strange.

Mr Loza said he sent @HiddenCash “a big shout out” on Twitter thanking him for the money.

“It’s a positive thing. I hope he keeps it up,” Mr Loza said.

“While you probably can’t help the whole world, a few at a time is definitely good.”

* Associated Press

Published: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM

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