What started on Twitter as an anonymous clue to the location of hidden cash has inspired thousands of wealthy people to leave donations in locations around the world.
The trend began May 23 in California, when investor Jason Buzi anonymously gave clues to the location of envelopes filled with $20 or $100 bills placed around San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, California. People who found the money would often post photos of themselves online with the envelopes and details about what they would do with their find. By June 15, similar Hidden Cash Twitter accounts popped up in New York, Las Vegas and Houston. Since the first post, Buzi has given away nearly $15,000. In an interview with CNN, he said he plans to make the trend international by taking it to Paris, London and Madrid.
A Richmond account went live May 30 as @HiddenRVACash, and the user has since donated around $1,400, reported CBS 6. According to the account’s profile information, the user has retired from the Payday and Title Loan industry and was inspired to give by their experience with Twitter.
Envelopes have been placed around Westchester Commons, Richmond City Stadium, Willow Lawn and the Metro Richmond Zoo. During a search for money hidden near Willow Lawn, cars were parked in the middle of the street, and groups of people could be seen frantically powerwalking to buildings pictured in the clues released online.
Twitter user @mrmattm77 posted he would give his money away if he found he had excess wealth, and ended up finding one of the cash-filled envelopes.
“Having been in a tough situation myself, I would give it all to someone I know was struggling,” @mrmattm77 tweeted.
Another Twitter user, Marion Smith, typed he was simply thankful a local Hidden Cash account existed, even if he could not join in on the hunt.
“Thank you again for bringing hope,” Smith tweeted. “It’s cool reading to (sic) clues and guessing anyway.”
Shortly after @HiddenRVACash went live, another account was created titled @Hidden Cash_CH that focused on the Colonial Heights area. While the users for both Richmond and Colonial Heights decided to remain anonymous, Hidden Cash Colonial Heights explained their motivation in an email with CBS 6.
“I figured this would be something fun to do, as well as brighten someone’s day,” the user wrote to CBS 6. “I hope whomever finds the money will pay-it-forward by doing something nice for someone else just as I did for them.”
The Hidden Cash Richmond account has not tweeted a clue since June 8, but said in response to a tweet that the giving craze was not over.