LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An anonymous cash donor who touched off a treasure hunt across San Francisco by hiding envelopes full of bills in unlikely places and providing clues via Twitter has moved operations to Los Angeles, sparking a frenzy with the first money drop.
The unknown donor made the deposit near a fountain in Griffith Park on Wednesday night, and local television showed throngs of people searching frantically for the hidden loot.
"What was originally meant to be a pay-it-forward scavenger hunt for San Francisco, has become much bigger than San Francisco and more than a scavenger hunt," the mystery benefactor said in a message posted on his Twitter account, @HiddenCash.
The man, who had more than 330,000 Twitter followers by Friday morning, revealed little about his identity but wrote that he came up with the scheme while dining with a friend last week as a fun way to give back to the community
"There have been large crowds lately. Please walk and drive safely," he wrote. "A young woman ran right in front of my car a few days ago. I will do my best to pick locations that are safe, but please use common sense and caution."
The covert philanthropist said he had also been overwhelmed with emails asking for financial assistance since starting the game but could not respond and was instituting a "media blackout" for the next few weeks.
He began tweeting out clues to the latest drops on Friday morning.
Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Gunna Dickson