Find real gold, jewelry in a treasure hunt coming to Washtenaw County

WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI — A real treasure hunt is coming to Washtenaw County.

Johnny’s Treasure Quest is burying jewelry with a retail value of $5,100 in one random location in the county, with the first clue on where to find it coming at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

Johnny Perri, one of the creators of the scavenger hunt, said there will be a mixture of white gold, yellow gold, black diamonds, rubies and more to be found. The hunt will end when someone finds the treasure, he said.

The event costs around $40 a ticket, which covers three adults ages 18 and up. Anyone younger than age 18 can tag along and play with their paid group for free. Tickets to participate can be purchased until the first clue drops, Perri said.

Clues will be posted in a private Facebook group and will lead players to a silver X that marks the spot. Players will dig up half of the treasure with a wooden axe, and get the other half after they redeem their X to Perri.

“That feeling of pulling real treasure out of the ground is what it’s all about,” Perri said. “Its a huge rush of excitement.”

Perri created this scavenger hunt in 2020 when he and his wife decided to bury his jewelry store’s inventory all over the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a second-generation jeweler and owned J&M Jewelers in Washington Township until it closed last year.

“Originally we started this because it gave people hope (and) something to believe in again during the pandemic,” Perri said. “We were kind of like light in the darkness for people and we want to continue that tradition.”

Read more: Michigan jeweler buries $1M in gold, silver, diamonds from Detroit to U.P. in ‘Treasure Quest’

This treasure hunt is the last one of the season, but Perri said he plans to continue them in 2023 to continue to help others make memories.

“The treasure really lies in the adventure (and) getting out there with someone you love and your family,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about (and) that’s really where the treasure is found.”

To buy tickets or to learn more about Johnny’s Treasure Quest, visit its website or social media.

Perri said he also has plans to start another contest — this time with chocolate bars. He said the “Great American Treasure Hunt” is starting in November and will be similar to Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Read more: Michigan jeweler plans Willy Wonka-inspired treasure hunt for $100K in gold, silver

“We designed these chocolate bars and we sell them nationwide, and whoever finds a silver ticket inside the chocolate bar wins a $150,000 treasure hunt,” he said. “(For this treasure hunt) you get a treasure map and you get to go search for 150 grand (in) real gold and silver treasure.”

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