A man describing himself as a successful real estate investor has been creating quite a stir with his Twitter feed, @HiddenCash. In what is described as “an anonymous social experiment for good,” he has been leaving envelopes filled with $200 or more in various locations around California.
The Twitter feed then posts pictures and clues to the locations of the cash drops, and asks people to share the money they find and post photos of their discoveries to the social media site. While the fun and games began in San Francisco and surrounding areas, the anonymous philanthropist recently found himself in Los Angeles for a few days, according to KCBS, and decided to bring his scavenger hunt with him.
On Thursday night, he made his latest drops, which drew throngs of people to the Burbank Empire Center. There were three different cash drops in the area, leading to what Burbank police called a traffic nightmare, according to NBC Los Angeles. Aerial video shot at the scene showed cars backing up on surface streets as crowds rushed bus stops and grassy areas.
Once all the cash had been found, @HiddenCash posted that the scavenger hunt was over for the night, adding, “Be safe. Be happy/ More fun tomorrow.”
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In an interview with KCBS, the anonymous man said that he next plans to take his scavenger hunt to the nation’s largest metropolitan area, New York City. “This thing is really taking off, the hidden cash,” the man said. “This was just a small, local San Francisco story and it’s just gone global worldwide.”
With more than 312,000 followers by late Thursday night, the scanvenger hunt is only growing. And a bigger social media following means bigger crowds at each subsequent hidden cash drop. So far, it seems like everyone has been staying positive and having fun with it, even agreeing to share the money when multiple people arrive at the drop sites simultaneously.
But as crowds get bigger, things could escalate quickly out of control. After all, there is money involved. @HiddenCash would call it cynical to worry about his social experiment turning violent, but it’s certainly a possibility.
“Don’t be cynical. There is goodness in the world,” he Tweeted on Wednesday. But what works on the West Coast could find a very different reaction on the East Coast. Especially with the potential for larger and larger crowds of cash-seekers as his social media presence continues to expand.