LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — A Twitter user in Washington, D.C. claiming to have won millions of dollars now says they’re eager to spread the wealth by way of a cyber scavenger hunt. If it sounds familiar, it’s because a mystery philanthropist is already making good on similar promises in California.
The Twitter user @IHidTheCash began teasing the D.C. giveaway Wednesday evening and posted the first clue around 6:45 a.m. Thursday.
By 8:40 a.m. a local television reporter unearthed an envelope containing $25 and a note asking her to buy a cup of coffee for herself and a person who couldn’t afford it.
(@JimMacKayWNEW) May 29, 2014
The Twitter profile of ‘I Hid The Cash’ notes they won a “HUGE” amount of money and that they just want to see people happy. They also want the people that find the cash (if there is any) to do good with the money. The mystery cash drops will range from a couple of bucks to “much more,” according to a tweet.
I was awarded millions of dollars, honestly its been a boring life w/ money. Hopefully this will bring some to DC residents! #ihidthecash—
I Hid The Cash (@IHidTheCash) May 28, 2014
Some are skeptical of the account’s motives and have openly questioned whether the account was an elaborate hoax created by a morning radio show. The first cash offering was found close to radio station in Bethesda.
(@JimMacKayWNEW) May 29, 2014
The person controlling the account refuted the claims and said they had no affiliation with the station.
I Hid The Cash (@IHidTheCash) May 29, 2014
The Twitter profile of ‘I Hid The Cash’ notes they were inspired by a very real person in San Francisco who has captured national attention by dropping envelopes full of cash throughout the city and in Los Angeles.
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The original philanthropic social media personality, whose Twitter handle is @HiddenCash, told the San Francisco Chronicle they wanted to conduct a social experiment after closing a $500,000 real estate deal. Their account explode from a few hundred followers on Friday to more than 230,000 and counting by early Thursday.
One of his clues Tuesday told San Francisco followers to “find Mr. Franklin along the ‘crookedest street,’ (towards the bottom).”
Translation: There was a $100 bill at the bottom of Lombard Street, the popular touristy thoroughfare that’s best known as the “Crookedest Street in The World.”
Hidden Cash’s anonymous creator said his giveaways are a “social experiment for good.” He claims to make his money off San Francisco’s hot and lucrative real estate market and hopes that winners also “pay it forward.”
Two of his winners said Tuesday that they did just that.
Sergio Loza, 28, of San Francisco, said he saw a clue on Twitter Sunday morning 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.
Loza said he spent $30 on clothes for his 2-year-old niece’s birthday and gave her the remaining $20 as well.
“I didn’t spend it on myself,” said 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 Friday in the city’s South of Market District. One envelope read, “With Love, from @HiddenCash. Leave $20 somewhere and pay it forward.”
Wenger, a web producer for KGO-Radio, bought pizza for his co-workers on Tuesday and plans to pay a $100 parking ticket. “It’s crazy,” he said.
@HiddenCash said on Twitter that he may leave envelopes in New York City next month. Followers have requested similar gestures in Alabama, Washington, D.C., and as far away as Pakistan with various hashtags ranging from #kindness, #generous, #epic and #strange.
Loza said he sent @HiddenCash “a big shoutout” on Twitter thanking him for the money.
“It’s a positive thing. I hope he keeps it up,” Loza said. “While you probably can’t help the whole world, a few at a time is definitely good.”
(TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)