On July 2, Hidden Cash Network, the website that brought the hidden cash craze to Seattle just over a month ago, visited Edmonds with a surprise double drop in the marina. The Network used its Twitter account and website to leave hints starting at 5 p.m. that night.
“I like Edmonds,” said the creator of the Hidden Cash Network, who prefers to remain unnamed. “And that particular day I had the evening free – it was a really pretty day – and I [thought it would be fun to do] “a surprise drop”… I was amazed at how big the turn out was, because I only announced it that day.”
He added: “That was the first and only time that I’ve ever been [at a drop location]. I actually ran the drop from my cell phone. I wanted to see how people react, and it also kind of helps us to make sure that we’re [placing] our clues well and not interfering with business.
The clue pointing to the location of the first drop, tweeted at about 6:45 p.m., read, “You will hear and see live music.” Clearly, the clue was strong, because the drop was found within 25 minutes by Edmonds resident Crystal Marie. “I was amazed. Those people were there fast,” said the creator.
The second, third, and fourth clues all pointed to the second drop, which took a bit longer to locate. Though the exact time the second drop was found cannot be confirmed, Crystal Marie and her daughter had located both drops by 9 p.m.
The Hidden Cash Network is still testing the waters, as it was formed only about a month and half ago by a family who currently resides in Everett. “[My wife and I] saw what was going down in California and thought it was kind of a neat idea, but all [of those programs] are based on some guy who is either rich or wealthy,” the creator explained of his decision to make the Hidden Cash Network a nonprofit business. “There’s a reason why ours is called a “Network.” It is a huge cash network funded by normal people, so we do our drops through donations and sponsors and advertisers… I thought it would be nice to do something we could self-sustain.”
The Network relies on advertisements, sponsorships, and membership fees to run the drops, but all donations go into a separate account solely for the prize money. “Our promise and commitment… is that 100 percent of those funds go back to the community,” the creator explained.
As the Network is new to the area, the number of people searching for a drop can vary. Fifteen residents turned out to look for the hidden drops in Edmonds, while over 30 joined in on the chase in Anacortes on June 29. Immediately following the Edmonds cash drops, the creator took a trip to Central Oregon to try the Network’s luck there. “It was kind of a flop,” he admitted, adding that he has since decided on staying in Washington for a while.
“The stories [are my favorite part about running the Network],” he said. “It’s just nice because everyone is very thankful. A lot of them are in for the chase… some of them don’t care if they win. I’ve talked to [a few participants who said,] ‘We just like going, it’s just fun!’”
This Saturday, July 19, the Hidden Cash Network will be visiting Lynnwood for locals who are interested in joining the chase.
— By Caitlin Plummer