Jelly Belly founder hides ‘gold tickets’ in nationwide treasure hunt, will give away candy factory

Jelly Belly founder hides ‘gold tickets’, will give away candy factory to lucky winner

David Klein is a modern day Willy Wonka.

The 74-year-old businessman is the founder of Jelly Belly jelly beans and wants to share a bit of his sweet life with multiple lucky winners.

According to a press release, Klein and his partner have been traveling across the U.S. hiding “gold-style tickets in the form of necklaces” in different places. The places they choose all have some sort of interesting story that sparked their interests.

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Each necklace includes a unique code that, when verified, guarantees $5,000 in winnings.

(The Gold Ticket/Tricky Treasures, Inc.)

People in each state will have a chance to enter a treasure hunt contest to find the special necklaces. Each entry costs $50.

After registering for the treasure hunt, participants in each hunt will receive more details about the location of the necklaces and a riddle to help them figure out the hiding spot.

The first contest begins in Georgia Sept. 30. Contests in other states continue through October and beyond.

Everyone who registers for the treasure hunts will be entered to win the grand prize: a candy factory. An all-expenses paid trip to a candy-making university and the cost of tuition at the school are also included in the grand prize.

Each treasure hunt has a limit of 1,000 participants.

While Klein and his business partner sold their share of the Jelly Belly business in 1980, just four years after creating the famed candy, the confectioner maintained some of his candy factories. Klein and the partner agreed to receive $10,000 a month for 20 years in exchange for the Jelly Belly trademark, a decision Klein said he immediately regretted because it cut his candy reign short.

Klein said the treasure hunt contest is a way to have fun before he retires and to give back to everyone who loves the candy industry as much as he does.

Read more about Klein at the Los Angeles Times and see more contest details here.