Edmontonian snatches Calgary's gold treasure
Published Wednesday, June 5, 2019 11:06AM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 6, 2019 7:06AM MDT
Officials with the GoldHunt event in Calgary confirm to CTV News that the prize has been found.
On Wednesday morning, the company announced the finding on Twitter:
The company says Calgary's prize was found by Jeff Lerue, who travelled from Edmonton to participate in the race after he learned his home city's treasure was found in about 20 hours.
Lerue, who's been off work for two years due to a disability, was hot on the trail of the treasure and had a pretty good idea where it was, officials say.
He says the discovery couldn't have come at a better time because he'd just learned his Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped application had been denied.Lerue suffered a broken knee and had to have a plate inserted to help afterwards but his condition has been deteriorating ever since.
He says the money will help pay back the debt he incurred while he's been off work.
"It will definitely make things easier until we figure out what we're going to do."
When it came to the treasure hunt itself, Lerue said he and his girlfriend put in a lot of research beforehand before he even set out to search in Calgary.
"We spent hours and hours on the phone, looking at Google Maps and Googling things. We were all over Calgary on the maps," he said. "I had a bit of game plan set for this morning so I came back this morning with that game plan and after about an hour of searching I came up with it."
He says he didn't have much of a knowledge of Calgary but once he started to work on the clues, he started to zero in.
"Once you had an area, everything else just fell into place."
Lerue says he will use the money to pay bills and go on a well-deserved vacation with his girlfriend.
Chris Cromwell, spokesperson for GoldHunt, says the hunt is truly 'epic.'
"I think it's icing on the cake that both of the winners are from Edmonton," he says. "It's been really interesting to see that whole thing unfold online."
Cromwell is staying silent on where the treasure was found because he says it might jeopardize the remaining hunt in Vancouver.
"We are trying to protect those in Vancouver who are still searching."
Edmonton's gold treasure was found less than 24 hours after the hunt started at 12:01 a.m. on June 1.
The competition's organizer said the prize was found at 8:52 p.m. by Bryon and Jody Duff and their children, 18-year-old Brylee and 16-year-old Logan.
Vancouver's hunt, which also began on Saturday, is the only one still going.
Once that search is complete, Cromwell says the company behind the event has its eyes set on expanding to other Canadian cities.
"GoldHunt is very excited, moving forward, to take this nationwide. We've got our eyes on some places in Ontario, we've got Quebec on our agenda and we're even looking as far east as Prince Edward Island."