$100,000 worth of gold and silver on the line in treasure hunt
Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019 3:56PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 15, 2019 6:40PM MDT
If you’ve ever dreamed of being hot on the trail of a hoard of treasure, a group of entrepreneurs have created a competition to recreate the experience.
Organizers behind Goldhunt.ca say they’ve buried $100,000 in real gold and silver in three Canadian cities: Edmonton, Vancouver and right here in Calgary. The prize is up for grabs for the person or people who can solve the clues to find out where ‘X’ marks the spot.
Chris Cromwell, one of the five people who came up with the idea of the treasure hunt, says it’s a special project for them.
“It’s literally buried treasure, which is so exciting. I think for us, it’s more than worth it to bring in the capital, bring in the investors to make this work so that people can go out there and find real treasure.”
Cromwell says the idea originally came from an antique hunter in the United States, but he’s had experience treasure hunting with his father when he was younger, so he understands the thrill of the chase.
“For us, it’s like a childhood dream come true, to really help people go out there and search for treasure.”
Of course, Cromwell and his partners are looking to make a profit to recoup the money handed out in the prizes. To do that, they’re selling treasure maps, along with clue packages to help the participants along in their quest. He says they've already been hot sellers.
“We’ve already got 20 or 30 maps that are presold, right out of the gate, before we even launched this on the news.”
Tracking down the buried treasure won’t be an easy task either, Cromwell says. They’ve enlisted the help of some expert Canadian poets to make sure all the clues are tricky enough to challenge even the sharpest of minds.
“It’s not going to be easy. You’re going have to have your wits; a lot of riddles have to be solved and a lot of clues have to be discovered and so that’s why we’ve created this project.”
If the tri-city pilot project proves to be a success, he says he would love to see it take root all across the country.
“I would love to see the project go across Canada,” he says. “What we’re trying to do is start with an opportunity in our home turf, in Calgary, Edmonton and the west coast of Canada, and then I would like to see it go all the way east.”
The treasure hunt begins on June 1 and you can learn more about it on the official website. You can also follow updates on social media by following the hashtag #goldhunt.
Organizers add they've also done extensive planning with the government and their own lawyers who have determined the treasure hunt does not require a gaming licence because there is no guaranteed winner.
When CTV News reached out to Alberta Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis, the agency said Gold Hunt doesn't appear to be a game of chance but instead appears to be a contest or competition so it could fall under the federal Competition Act or provincial Consumer Protection Act.
(With files from Kevin Fleming)