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@HiddenCash craze returns to L.A. area with drop in Lake Balboa Park

@HiddenCash makes first drop at Lake Balboa Park in the San Fernando Valley, plans another Thursday night

The @HiddenCash craze returned to the Los Angeles area Thursday morning with the first drop of the day made in Lake Balboa Park in the San Fernando Valley.

Before tweeting several clues, @HiddenCash teased followers with a photograph of $20 and $50 bills clipped to the leaves of a tree with the message, "After today, no one can ever again say 'Money doesn't grow on trees' because from now on, it does."

Later, at about 9:30 a.m.: "LA: Money grows on trees in the valley"

After a few more clues the jig was up shortly after 10 a.m., with seekers tweeting the location at the park in the Sepulveda Basin neighborhood.

The social media-driven scavenger hunt is expected to continue, with drops promised Thursday evening, Friday and throughout the weekend. And, as in the past, hundreds of people are likely to be tempted to join in the search for the free cash.

At least two drops are also planned for Orange County and the Inland Empire.

The donor behind @HiddenCash identified to CNN himself last month as Bay Area real estate investor Jason Buzi.

For weeks, Buzi had remained anonymous while organizing numerous scavenger hunts throughout the state and tweeting clues.

The scavenger hunt and his tweets quickly became viral, gaining him more than 695,000 followers.

Soon enough, his followers began tweeting photographs of themselves after finding the stashed cash.

In May, cash drops in the Los Angeles region drew crowds to locales including the Empire Center in Burbank and the Huntington Library in San Marino.

Buzi told Cooper he had gave away between $10,000 and $15,000 since first making drops in San Francisco.

Buzi announced plans to hide Pez dispensers stuffed with cash along the local coastline this week after successfully doing so during the Fourth of July weekend in San Diego.

For breaking news in Los Angeles and California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA. She can be reached at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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