A social media scavenger hunt that awards lucky followers with money made its way to Los Angeles and brought crowds of Angelenos into the streets of Burbank Thursday night in search of cash-filled envelopes.
A person described as a successful real estate investor has been hiding money in different California cities and using the Twitter account @HiddenCash to provide followers with clues to find envelopes that have contained more than $200 inside, signed "With Love, @hiddencash."
Thursday night's clues describing a spot in Southern California brought groups of Angelenos to the Burbank Empire Center.
"Didn't get a head start? Big shopping center in Burbank. Three drops all around here." Another tweet said, "Next drop: Need bus fare? One person's trash is another person's treasure. Remember - all the same area 2nite."
Hours earlier, the hint was posted: "Tonight's drops: First clue: Sounds like where a robin or eagle might keep their money. 7 PMish..."
Aerial video showed crowds rushing bus stops and grassy knolls as cars backed up on surface streets.
Burbank police called the situation a traffic nightmare.
"There will be a couple drops tonight near each other. Coming soon. Please keep it safe, fun, and friendly. Consider sharing $$$. Love," the account tweeted Thursday evening.
A 14-year-old girl found an envelope with $210, a man found $135 outside a restaurant and another man found $200 in a trash can.
"We saw the helicopter actually and we figured ok, maybe it's Empire Center," said Chris Treichel, who found his wad of cash outside Hometown Buffet. "I looked down and it was there, and I picked it up and that was about it."
After the Thursday night rush, the mysterious account let folks know to head home.
"All hidden cash tonight has been found. Go home. Be safe. Be happy. More fun tomorrow. Thank you for the love, L.A.," said the tweet posted about 9 p.m.
Thursday's event in Burbank was the second in Los Angeles since the person behind the account left the Bay Area. The first LA money drop was in Loz Feliz.
At 10:58 p.m. Wednesday, the first Los Angeles clue was posted. "Get close to the water, but no need to get wet at this famous fountain," the tweet read. A photo of the fountain was included with the tweet.
First LA drop! Get close to the water, but no need to get wet at this famous fountain. pic.twitter.com/seV9s6uh8B
— Hidden Cash (@HiddenCash) May 29, 2014
A man named Ken Dellinger tweeted that he found the hidden cash at the William Mulholland Memorial Fountain near Los Feliz Boulevard and Riverside Drive at 11:19 p.m. Wednesday.
"I'm lucky and grateful and thankful for the anonymous benefactor sharing his wealth," Dellinger told NBC4 in an email. "I'm glad I could share some of the $250 I found with three of the others that got there at the same time as me."
Dellinger, 49, of Los Feliz, said he took his dog Butch down to the fountain at Griffith Park after seeing the first clue posted to Twitter.
Dellinger tweeted a photo of the envelope stuffed with the two one-hundred dollar bills inside, along with the caption "We <3 LA," following the instructions posted on the envelope.
— Ken Dellinger (@kendellinger) May 29, 2014
"I think it’s very sweet of the guy to just be randomly giving out money to people he doesn’t even know, so I thought it’s a nice little gesture," said Deeanna Ruiz, who showed up to the fountain Wednesday night but was too late to find the hidden envelope.
Thousands of dollars have been given to lucky Californians so far, leaving many to wonder why the person behind the @HiddenCash is being so philanthropic.
The @HiddenCash project has been described as "an anonymous social experiment for good" on its Twitter page and Wednesday tweeted that "the only thing Hiddencash is trying to promote is random acts of kindness. Don’t be cynical. There is goodness in the world. Love."
As of Thursday evening, the @HiddenCash Twitter account had more than 313,000 followers.