News Column

Key figure in Hidden Cash hunt is a Sac State alum

June 23, 2014

By Katrina Cameron, The Sacramento Bee

June 23--The driving force behind the wildly popular Hidden Cash treasure hunt that's coming to Sacramento this week is a Sacramento State graduate who said he launched the city-by-city cash giveaway to give back to the community "in a creative way."

Jason Buzi, a 43-year-old real estate investor and entrepreneur, lived in Sacramento for two years while studying for a business degree. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, in 1995, university spokeswoman Kimberly Nava said.

"I'm a Sac State graduate, so I'm really excited to come to Sac as an alumnus," said Buzi, who now lives in Palo Alto.

Related: Treasure hunt in Sacramento will be for early risers.

Hidden Cash started earlier this month when a Twitter account gave the public clues to money -- envelopes containing $50 and $100 bills -- that was placed in various locations in New York, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and most recently London.

Buzi was among a core group of about five anonymous people behind the Hidden Cash treasure hunt, but his anonymity was broken two weeks ago. The television show "Inside Edition" used a voice analysis expert to identify him after an interview, he said.

In Sacramento, as in other cities, cash hunters will follow the @HiddenCash Twitter account for clues to where the envelopes are hidden in the capital. But Buzi has not said which day this week the contest will begin in Sacramento.

"Sac will be early morning (before 9) during this week. Will announce it the night before," @Hiddencash tweeted Sunday.

Buzi said the response to his social media-steered treasure hunts has been "overwhelmingly positive."

"I wanted to do something along the lines of bringing people together in a fun way," Buzi said.

Sacramentans on Twitter appear to be just as excited about the one-day cash hunt as Buzi. Hundreds of Twitter followers have favorited and retweeted @HiddenCash's Sacramento-related tweets.

"We've had more excitement about Sacramento than we have had in bigger cities like Chicago or London," Buzi said.

Buzi wants to encourage treasure hunters to keep the search safe and fun. For those who find the money, he encourages them to "pay it forward."



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Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)

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