The Washington Post

Follow this Twitter account for free cash! No, really.

Keep an eye on your Twitter feed and you might just find some cash lying around Washington.

Inspired by a generous Twitter user who has sparked an ongoing treasure hunt all over San Francisco, an anonymous benefactor hid $25 in Chevy Chase on Thursday morning, and posted clues on Twitter until a hunter found the money.

The tweeter, using the account @IHidTheCash, says he will keep giving away money, in varying amounts, for the foreseeable future.

Announcing the scavenger hunt, the account tweeted, “I was awarded millions of dollars, honestly its been a boring life w/money. Hopefully this will bring some to DC residents!”

The first clue went out Wednesday night: “I flew unlike a bird for the winter,” perhaps telling readers to look for the money in the northern part of the city.

On Thursday morning, the  clues came fast and furious. They became more and more specific as hunters, presumably, got closer to hitting the jackpot.

Just a few:


Fox 5 reporter Melanie Alnwick tweeted that she had found the money, about two hours after the morning clues began.

The hider tweeted that those who sought but did not find the money Thursday morning should not despair.

Andrea Rich said she would ordinarily be at home in Temple Hills, getting her daughter ready for school, at 6:45 a.m. But knowing that the clue was coming, she got up at 5:30 a.m., put her college-aged daughter in charge of caring for the younger child, and headed to Northwest Washington, where she thought the money would be hidden.

On Twitter and Facebook, she saw that many of her friends were doing the same.

“He is my favorite person on Twitter,” she said of the anonymous donor.

She didn’t find the money on Thursday. Surmising that a clue about “Booey’s” referred to buoys, and that the movie theater was the one near the Georgetown waterfront, and the many mentions of “underneath” meant she should look under a bridge, she was poking around Water Street and Rock Creek Park in Georgetown when she learned that the game was over for the day.

But she plans to try again, and has high hopes that she’ll find some money someday.

“I would use the money to take care of my children. Just day-to-day living, it’s hard out here,” she said. “I’m a federal employee. I took a hit with the shutdown. I’m still trying to recover.”

Even before the shutdown, years of federal pay freezes hurt, Rich said, to the point that she moved out of the city to find lower rent in Maryland.

“This is a great idea in Washington, because the people are suffering in Washington, if you’re not, you know, political, if you’re not on the Hill,” Rich said. “Whoever is behind this, I send them much blessings. Because so many people have, and there are a lot of people that have not. It’s the concept of love thy neighbor, that’s how I look at that.”

In a message to The Post, @IHidTheCash wrote that he lives in the Washington area and was inspired by the @HiddenCash craze in San Francisco.

Asked how he has so much money to give away, he responded: “I worked for it. … When you work hard and are successful, it’s a win. So, I always say I won it.”

The treasure-giver said he planned to keep hiding cash frequently. “Not sure why I’d ever stop,” the user wrote. “This isn’t a flash in the pan. … To me, it’s an important project.”

He added, “Such a stressful world, we all need a positive focus. … All of us.”

He said the experience has been “surreal.”

“I’m eating lunch, and the table next to me is talking about this, and the server made mention to another server. It’s really wild, completely wild.”

This post has been updated.

Julie Zauzmer is a local news reporter.



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