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'Hidden Cash' scavenger hunt hits Fargo, as social media experiment spreads


What would you do with an extra $100 – use it for yourself, or pay it forward?

There are envelopes of cash hidden around Fargo. $100, $150, sometimes even more. And it's up for grabs. All you need is a Twitter account and a sharp mind.

Here's a recent clue:

This isn't a joke. Someone is (or maybe a few people are) hiding cash around the city, tweeting out clues, and letting people go find it. But the anonymous people behind the so-called social experiment hope it's used for good, WDAY said.

The account – @FargoHiddenCash – first tweeted back on May 29. "Scheduled to arrive in Fargo next week," it said. By Monday, it had hidden cash around the city in preparation for a lunch time scavenger hunt. It often uses hashtags such as #share, #PayItForward and #PassItOn, and even asks followers what they will do with the cash if they find it.

Some responses: Donate it to a multiple sclerosis walk; use it for themselves after a tough month; give it to a coworker who is a single mom.

One of Monday's finders used the $200 to buy lunch for her coworkers at Doolittles.

People who find the cash are asked to post a selfie with the found money, and tag the Fargo Hidden Cash account.

WDAY spoke with some of Monday's cash finders, as people scrambled around lunch time to find the money around the city. One envelope was found near recycling bins, another at Island Park.

Wait, Why Is This Happening?

The "Hidden Cash" scavenger hunt appears to have started in San Francisco , with the account. @HiddenCash.

An anonymous person emailed The Bold Italic in late May, notifying the site of their intentions to hide cash around the city and tweet out clues.

"This will continue indefinitely. There is nothing commercial behind this. It is a social experiment," the email said.

More bills were hidden in Oakland, as KRON 4 points out.

Two weeks in, and the Twitter account has 440,000-plus followers. According to NBC Chicago, the person behind it is a man, who claims he's made millions of dollars in the real estate business. He also wrote this letter, detailing his reasons for doing it. He writes:

There really is no agenda here - not political, not business, not religious - other than bringing people together in a positive way and bringing a smile to people's faces. ... There will always be cynics and skeptics, especially as a movement grows, but it is truly my intention to give back and make people happy. This is not a promotion for a business. We want to encourage people to be kind, to be generous, and to pay it forward. For those who started similar movements in other cities and countries around the world, we salute you.

But as of right now, that's about all we know.

Well, that, and the game(or social experiment) he created seems to be very popular.

San Diego now has multiple "Hidden Cash" accounts. Boulder, Colorado jumped on the trend quickly, WDAY says. It launched in Chicago and hit Kansas on Monday. Someone in Toronto started doing it this week as well. Hidden Cash Milwaukee posted its first tweet Tuesday. And St. Louis appears to be on deck.

The list is growing, and based on its popularity so far, there seems to be a good chance that continues. But there's one state curiously missing ...

Where's Minnesota?

So far, there hasn't been a peep about a "Hidden Cash" Twitter scavenger hunt in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or any other areas in the North Star State (though those of you near the border could drive over to Fargo if you really want to participate). There is one tweet from a @HiddenCashMPLS account, and an empty @HiddenCashMN account, but that's it right now.

Plenty of people on Twitter are asking for it though.

The one in Kansas is run by an anonymous woman who lives in the western portion of the state, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. She also accepts help from others, who email her clues – they drop the money somewhere, she tweets out the clue.

Back in North Dakota

The Fargo version wrappedup around 5 p.m. Tuesday, with another handful of people walking away a few bucks richer. As for the treasure hunt's future prospects? They're looking pretty good, if this tweet is any indication.

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