One man’s cash is another fan’s treasure

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Over the next few weeks, a treasure hunt will take place in the Provo-Orem area, and the prize is $5000.

Duncan Lillico, aspiring app producer and self-appointed treasure master, has taken $5,000 from his pocket and put it up as prize money for the first-ever Great Provo-Orem Treasure Hunt. Official clues will be distributed to participants starting Sept. 28, just after the BYU football team takes on Hawaii at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

“The thought of finding treasure is so romantic,” Lillico said, expressing his hopes that the fantasy notion of the whole thing appeals to many.

Lillico got the idea for his treasure hunt from a similar event he and his wife participated in 15 years ago in Canada. The new treasure master hopes the event will be memorable and profitable. Lillico’s treasure hunt is a clever marketing campaign for an app he plans to launch next year for college textbooks. As aspiring treasure chasers search for Lillico’s booty, they’re also building a relationship with the entrepreneur. Though he hopes to build a good rapport with potential customers, he promises the treasure hunt will be a challenge.

“It’s not going to be easy,” Lillico said.

Be advised — no cash is actually hidden or buried. Participants must decipher and follow the series of  clues which will lead them to a voucher which will allow them to claim their prize. The search is projected to last about 45 days. Clues will be emailed and tweeted to those who sign up. Treasure hunters who sign up before Sept. 28 will receive pre-clues, giving them an advantage over others in the hunt for the prize.

The hunt will be packed with activities and smaller prizes along the way to keep hunters motivated. The hunt is designed to be done in groups, making it ideal for family night activities, date nights and college group activities. In fact, Lillico has promised to give a special clue exclusively to BYU students. If you email him to sign up and use the code word “gocougars” he will respond with a clue not given to the rest of the treasure hunters.

Jessica Ross, a senior studying public health, said she’s got big plans if she wins the prize.

“If I found it I’d probably be lame though and put it in the bank or invest it in 5,000 cheeseburgers.”

While fun in nature, the treasure hunt will also be a humanitarian effort. There will be service events along the way, including food drives and hygiene product donations. Hunters who participate in these events will receive extra clues to find the prize. These donation events will conveniently occur just before the holiday season.

Nate Kuhlman, a senior BYU student studying Russian, has a group prepared to start the treasure hunt.

“Even if I don’t end up finding any treasure, I think the GPOTH will be a great big game for my friends and me where we can get out around town and just have fun together as we look for some treasure,” Kuhlman said.

Aspiring treasure hunters can sign up by emailing to , following their twitter @ProvoTreasure, or by visiting Lillico’s website: provotreasurehunt.com.

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