Clues to hidden envelopes filled with money from the anonymous Twitter account @HiddenCash prompted hundreds of people to frantically scour the streets Thursday in Burbank.
Some videos posted online showed people running through traffic, swarming a bus stop and combing bushes in search of three envelopes hidden at various spots at the Empire Center in Burbank. At one point, one woman reportedly abandoned her car in the street to join in the hunt.
The massive crowd, mostly generated through social media, prompted the wealthy mystery donor to respond to the flurry of interest in his scavenger hunt by urging his followers to be safe during the hunt after he said a woman ran in front of his car a few days ago.
“I will do my best to pick locations that are safe, but please use common sense and caution,” the anonymous donor said in a statement posted online. “Please also be respectful to the locations themselves and surrounding businesses and be kind and happy with each other, as that’s what this is all about.”
The mystery benefactor, who describes himself as a real estate developer, said the scavenger hunt was his attempt to pay it forward after scoring a six-figure profit on a property deal, and hoped others would do the same.
He also described himself as being between 35 and 45 years old and “old-school,” becoming active on Twitter only to carry out the scavenger hunt.
He first began hiding envelopes filled with cash last week in San Francisco. When his movement picked up steam, he continued the drops in San Jose and then moved to Los Angeles, where he plans to be active for several days.
“There really is no agenda here - not political, not business, not religious - other than bringing people together in a positive way and bringing a smile to people’s faces,” he said in his statement.
One of the lucky finders in Burbank on Thursday, 14-year-old Tatiana Ramirez, told KTLA that the $210 in her envelope couldn’t have come at a better time.
“We were having lots of problems with money and my grandma was in the hospital, and I was going to help her with her medication,” she said.
Three other envelope drops were planned for Friday morning, with more to follow later in the evening, he added.