In 2020, a real-life treasure hunt was the kind of story Americans appreciated. ICYM, an eccentric art dealer/collector named Forrest Fenn hid a treasure chest containing over a million dollars worth of gold and other rarities somewhere in the west a decade ago. He gave out clues in a book and for the past 10 years, treasure hunters scoured areas in and around our region. Fenn announced in July this year that the treasure had been found (in Wyoming). Fenn died at age 90 in September (CNN).

The treasure finder was not identified until a court order was issued after a sour-grapes, unsuccessful hunter from Chicago filed a suit, according to a story in the Powell Tribune. The guy who claims he found the treasure is a 32-year-old Michigan man named Jack Stuef. Some skeptics doubt that he actually found the loot and he refuses to identify the exact location he found the hidden stash.

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Now that we're all captivated by a tale of buried riches, guess what showed up in my Facebook feed yesterday? An intriguing post from a company (group? person?) called CAXHE that has essentially announced a treasure hunt with $1,000,000 hidden somewhere in the United States,

We set out to create adventure: To bring people together in pursuit and send them into the wild on their search, to ignite curiosity and stir the soul
One million dollars is hidden somewhere on American Public Land. If you are up for the adventure, we will guide you with the clues needed to find it.
Stay tuned!
Curious, I clicked the link to the CAXHE website where there was very little additional information about the hunt for a million bucks. The landing page asked for my email address so I can become involved in the hunt. It stated a deadline of March 1. That was it. Hesitant to give my personal email address to random entities, I smartly used my work email (heheh).
Credit: screenshot
Credit: screenshot
After clicking submit I got a reminder to watch my email for clues and a prompt to like their social media channels.  As of today, they only have 330 followers on Instagram and around 650 on their Facebook page. I have not received any clues via email yet.
The website offered little other information on who is behind the hunt, where the money comes from, or why they're doing it. Other than this fine-print disclaimer on the bottom of the page:
The Great American Treasure Hunt (the “Contest”) is currently being marketed and promoted to ascertain whether there is sufficient indication of interest in the Contest by the public in order to launch the Contest, and the corresponding search for one million dollars. The Contest, if launched: (1) will be offered only in those jurisdictions where it is legal to offer the Contest; and (2) will be subject to all corresponding terms and conditions of the Contest, and any and all participants will have to agree to those terms and conditions prior to being able to participate in the Contest.
Translated: it may not happen. I'll admit this treasure hunt sounds interesting, but I have a lot of questions, including,
  • How do you pronounce CAXHE? Is it like CASH or like Cack-see, or... ?
  • Who is paying for the million-dollar cash prize? I could imagine a company like Red Bull or Range Rover or even AirBnb doing something like this. The publicity alone would be worth it.
  • How big is their insurance policy/legal team? Because when some idiot treasure hunter gets trapped, injured or dies while attempting to find the cash, you can bet the lawsuits will come flying. At least four people died searching for Fenn's treasure.

I'll keep you posted if I start getting clues. In the meantime, maybe I'll watch Rat Race again.

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