Real Life ‘Goonies’ — Ten $1M Treasure Hunts Are Underway Across Ten States

UPDATE (12/7): It’s looking like the people behind the Blackbeard Treasure Hunt might not be the well-intentioned treasure enthusiasts we though they were, they might, ironically, be pirates themselves. To say that the rollout for the Blackbeard treasure maps has been less than smooth is putting it nicely, it’s been a f*cking disaster. The maps were scheduled to drop on November 28th, but were met with instant delays, with the official Blackbeard Treasure instagram account chalking up the botched rollout to technical difficulties,

“It never can be smoothing sailing, can’t it? Thanks 2020… We are experiencing overwhelming amounts of map purchases, phone calls, and emails… We know you are excited, we are too.” We hear that, 2020 has been a mess — wait a minute, what the hell does a high volume of orders have to do with emailing an app? Okay, weird, but okay. Soon after the Black Beard Treasure team released a new map drop date for December 5th and issued a lengthy statement in which they apologized profusely to those who bought a map (and made prior time in their schedules for treasure hunting) but were left waiting, ensuring that maps hadn’t been released to anyone to nobody would have a head start over another party… and then spent a considerable amount of time chastising paying customers who were justifiably pissed.

“Some of the nonsense that has come out of the mouths of a few negative, narrow minded, jealous, bitter, trolling naysayers has made us reevaluate who we really want taking part in this event. And they are not it!” Wrote Blackbeard Treasure offering a full refund to anyone who was turned off by the botched rollout. Someone certainly is spewing negative bitter nonsense, but it’s looking more and more like that someone is Blackbeard treasure, and not you know, not the treasure hunters that still haven’t received a map, or a refund, despite it being December 7th. We’re not totally sure what is going on at Blackbeard Treasure, but for whatever reason their official website doesn’t work anymore.

Original Post:

No question about it, in 2020 we all lost a summer. No music festivals, no raging pool parties, and definitely no summer treks into some new city to soak up the local culture. The only travel that’s really safe right now is a domestic road trip into one of the nation’s many secluded forests or national parks, taken only with people in your quarantine bubble.

So news of a dramatically-socially-distanced treasure hunt for a cool million dollars? Yes, please. Let’s all go be Goonies.

The Blackbeard Treasure Hunt consists of 10 hidden treasure chests each loaded with $1 million, spread across the states of California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. As for the other 40 states? Sorry, you’re just not pirate material. For $49.99 — there’s the kicker! It’s a business! — prospective treasure hunters can download one of the ten maps, which are filled with clues and riddles that require you to “think like a pirate,” and task you with figuring out how to interpret a treasure map in the era of GPS.

“With the Blackbeard Treasure Hunt, our goal is to get people excited about getting outside, either by themselves or with friends and family, in order to have the adventure of a lifetime,” says Justin Cohen, managing director of the Blackbeard Treasure Hunt. “In the process of having the time of your life, you may just unearth a fortune.”

If you do find a chest, you and your pirate crew will find $1 million in cash, a location beacon, and a hidden camera to catch you in the act of making your claim. Once you find the chest, you’ll need to place a phone call to a given number to officially be declared winner. There are other rules, too, along with enough talk of disqualification that it seems almost 100% certain that the chests don’t contain real cash or gold and are instead filled with some sort of voucher.

Only Forrest Fenn was ballsy enough to do real doubloons.

If you believe so strongly in your treasure hunting skills, the Blackbeard Treasure Hunt is also offering a few treasure hunters the chance to be followed and filmed by a camera crew as part of the upcoming reality show The Hunt For Blackbeard’s Treasure. To be considered, email the Blackbeard treasure team after purchasing your map and let them know why you should be featured. Treasure hunters will need to bring their maps, riddles, and clues, along with a shovel, flashlight, cell phone, and a compass on their hunts.

In order to join the hunt you must be at least 16 years of age, unless you’re part of a larger team headed by a parent or guardian. Cheaters can be fined $250,000/ Treasure maps, clues, and riddles may not be resold to the public. No social media posts allowed. But… but… it’s a pirate treasure hunt, right? Have you read up on how horrible Blackbeard was? If anything, a little mischief and skullduggery should be embraced!