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Retired Michigan jeweler says he buried his 'entire jewelry store' to host real-life treasure hunt

Businessman had 'epiphany' after COVID-19 lockdowns

Updated: July 16, 2020 - 4:12pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A Michigan jeweler has announced a million-dollar treasure hunt within the state, claiming he buried the entire stock of his store in secret locations and inviting residents to pay to participate in the "adventure."

Johnny Perri, who lives in Michigan's Washington Township, wrote on the website for "Johnny's Treasure Quest" that he has been "serving the community and trading gold, silver, diamonds & antiques for over 23 years," during which time he has "collected a vast treasure trove of remarkable riches."

Perri, who said he began learning the jewelry trade under his father, claimed that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's severe COVID-19 lockdown left him "stir crazy being at home with nothing but time on my hands ... literally pacing back and forth anxiously wanting to do something but with nothing to do."

Stating that he discovered a latent desire for "getting off the couch and out of the house and adventuring outdoors," Perri said, he and his then-fiancé "buried not only my entire jewelry store but thousands upon thousands of dollars of gold, silver, diamonds & antiques in various locations in Michigan from the bottom to the upper peninsula."

The former jeweler is offering tickets to various "adventures" across the state, with prices so far ranging from $49 to $59. The value of the buried treasure for those hunts ranges from $4,200 to $7,000. 

Participants are required to sign a waiver and are forbidden from sharing quest clues on social media. Among the treasures offered so far are several hundred ounces of silver bars. 

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