The Candy Man’s national treasure hunt sweeps the nation

BY CHLOE PORTER

A new treasure hunt is now on the rise in America as people are eager to begin the real life Charlie and the Chocolate Factory competition. In a personal interview with The Bruin, David Klein explains how golden tickets are hidden across the nation, but only one person from each state will be the lucky winner and entered into the grand prize drawing. 

Jelly Belly has been an inspiration to candy companies since 1976. The original creator of the product, David Klein, is now known as the “Candy Man”. Although he is not part of the Jelly Belly corporation any more, he is still greatly involved in the candy business.

“Candy makes people happy, and I like to make people happy,” said Klein. 

He has now started a nationwide scavenger hunt inspired by Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His idea has been in the making since 1977 when he was on the Mike Douglas Show.

People across the nation are searching for the golden ticket. One of these golden tickets will be hidden in each state. Photo courtesy of David Klein

“As I was running down the aisle throwing Jelly Bellys in bags to the audience, at the exact moment I said, ‘someday I want to do a Willy Wonka move and give away one of my candy factories,” said Klein. 

He is now giving away a 4000 sq. foot building in Hawthorne Florida which has already been approved by the health department, and equipment will be provided. Included with the factory will be a comprehensive course in candy making at the University of Wisconsin. Klein himself will also be a free mentor for one year. 

In each state there will be one golden ticket hidden and one clue given about the location of it. When the recipient of the key turns it in they will be automatically awarded $5000 and entered in to win the candy factory.

It costs $50 to enter this competition and only 1000 tickets will be sold in each state. Currently, Ohio is sold out, however, several other states are still selling tickets. Considering this competition will gain $50,000 in each state alone, that means the total revenue would be 2.5 million dollars (if each state sells out). People are wondering where all of this money will be going. Klein stated that after this, the revenue from this competition will be put into another treasure hunt. 

“The prize in that is going to be much bigger,” said Klein.

During these trying times in a pandemic Klein thought that this was the perfect time to begin this challenge. He wants it to be a fun family and friend event, and most of all to bring people together.

The person that wins the candy factory could make their dream candy in their dream factory like the one above. They’ll be given whatever equipment they need so that it will be able to function. Courtesy of Creative Commons

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