"Hidden cash" clues return to downtown Indianapolis
The scavenger hunt for cash could be on in the Circle City.
"Let the fun begin," read the tweet that set of the money hunt.
The Twitter account "@HiddenCashIndy" tweeted a photo Wednesday morning of an envelope behind a steel gate at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument downtown.
"Don't let the rain hold you back from $100 at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument..." said the tweet, posted at 10:19 a.m.
The rain may have slowed things down to a trickle, but that didn't stop people from searching.
"Don't mind my umbrella. It is not mine and we are looking for $100," Lundun Hull said as he arrived in the driving rain, protected by an umbrella that had seen better days.
Hull was not alone.
"The hidden money. A girl from the office called and told us," Cindy Mowrey remarked.
About 15 minutes later, an Eyewitness News photographer found the envelope still intact. Wrapped in a plastic bag, a note on the envelope reads, "OPEN ME :) @HiddenCashIndy."
It was picked up about 15 minutes after our photographer arrived.
"Hopefully it's not some prank being played on me over Twitter," said Greg Hotopp, who found the money.
The envelope contained a letter with five $20 bills.
"Congrats! You are the first recipient of Hidden Cash Indy. Tweet a pic of yourself with the cash to @HiddenCashIndy. Make someone feel good today!" the letter read.
"I guess it's legit," said Hotopp. "Money found is better than money earned."
Hotopp says he will donate half of the found money to "Bike MS" - a charitable event to benefit multiple sclerosis research.
The account's bio says the anonymous tweeter behind the account (and the cash) is a "lifelong Hoosier wanting to pay it forward." The account follows several others that have popped up nationwide in recent weeks, starting in California, where Twitter followers use clues to find stashes of money around their city.
"It's $100. Money doesn't grow on trees, but apparently it's given away to you. Rain or no rain, $100, it will buy me a new raincoat I guess, or a hair dryer. Whichever," he said.
Hotopp's wife, an Eyewitness News producer, was hoping for a steak dinner. He may have been the lucky one, but he was certainly not the only one.
"I'll show up before I got to work and test my luck," Lesley Acevedo stated.
"I'm going off the clues that my boss said. I heard gated area. I'm looking for a gated area. You would think it would be more obvious," an exasperated Hull stated.
He could have another chance. The new Indianapolis account promises "hidden cash all over Indy" and will offer daily clues on where to find it. By late Wednesday, the anonymous benefactor was already thinking ahead.
"All the clues will be given here! What side of our city should the next drop be? I'm indecisive," a later tweet read.
The account picked up more than 500 followers in 45 minutes after the first tweet, when the first prize was claimed. By 5:30 p.m., 3,100 people were following the Twitter account, anxious for the next clue.
That next clue came Thursday morning, as promised, with $187 found in an envelope by the canal. The finders, "@RunTheNap" says they'll "pay it forward" by buying donuts Friday at Taylor's Bakery.
Other hidden cash clues have been reported in Chicago, Milwaukee and Fargo, North Dakota.