@HiddenCashBG spreads money through social media

Stephanie Jessie

“Here’s how it works: I’ve hidden cash somewhere in the city. I’ll give a location in a bit. You go and find it. Tweet me when found. Then you take the cash and #payitforward. 🙂 It’s that simple.”

Those words were taken from a new Twitter account that has taken Bowling Green by a storm, @HiddenCashBG.

 Hidden Cash is a trend that was started in San Francisco when an anonymous someone made a Twitter account advertising free money hidden throughout the city. Since then, Hidden Cash accounts have popped up throughout the United States, including Bowling Green. In the spirit of the anonymous Hidden Cash creator, the local account has also vowed to stay anonymous.

“I can’t remember exactly how I learned about the Hidden Cash trend, but I remember I started following him when he had around 5,000 followers,” @HiddenCashBG said. “I held the first Hidden Cash Bowling Green five days after the original Hidden Cash launched.”

@HiddenCashBG is a single person who tweets different locations across the city at different times. Residents who crack the code and find the location can find any amount of money hidden, ranging from a few bucks to a crisp $20. Those hoping to find the money arrive at the location once it has been posted and start hunting for anything that looks like it could hide money. Some instances have included having the envelopes taped to trash in a field or the bottom of a leaf under a tree.

“I never really prepare for a specific cash drop until the day of,” @HiddenCashBG said. “I never know where I’m going to hide it until about an hour before I announce it. Things could change: people could be around the location, it might be raining on one side of town and not the other.”

The amount found in the envelope is determined by how much is in the account’s wallet at the time. 

“If I have $20, that’s what will be dropped. If I only have $5 and a couple $2 bills, then that’s what will be dropped. I contact businesses the day before to arrange a gift card donation,” @HiddenCashBG said. 

The only cost to the finder of the gift is to pay the good deed forward to someone else and post a picture with the prize to Twitter tagging @HiddenCashBG.

 In the past, finders have used the hidden cash to tip Starbucks or Moe’s workers. One little boy used the cash to buy three dozen doughnuts for his Sunday school class and teachers.

Junior Colby Sanford used the cash he found to pay a considerate cab driver.

 “My friend and I were leaving Brew Co. downtown one night and a random cab driver pulled up and asked if we wanted a ride,” Sanford said.

After explaining they couldn’t pay the driver, he insisted on driving them home anyway, free of charge.

“I gave him the $2 bill I had found from Hidden Cash and explained that, since he did something nice for us, it was the least I could do to give him that,” Sanford said. “It was really cool cause he had never seen a $2 bill before. He was excited to take it home and show his kids.”

For @HiddenCashBG, seeing that joy in the finders’ faces is what keeps them going…and keeps their identity a secret.

“I don’t want the publicity,” @Hidden Cash BG said. “It’s not about myself.”

While they are afraid of someone seeing them, they have taken precautionary measures to prevent suspicion, including driving different vehicles to the drop sites.

“I’m doing this for the people of Bowling Green, not myself,” they said.

Their love for their city recently stretched into another campaign they have launched: We Love BG.

“It’s a spin-off from the ‘I Love BG’ campaign,” @HiddenCashBG said. “We are a community. We are a family. We are Bowling Green.”

To find out more about the “We Love BG” campaign, visit their website at http://www.welovebg.com.

To join the searches yourself, follow @HiddenCashBG on Twitter.

“I will continue to grow and improve the Hidden Cash BG project as long as possible,”  @HiddenCashBG said. “I have no plans to discontinue it. However, I will need local businesses and organizations to step up to help finance the cash drops. I want this to grow and be able to give larger amounts of cash away.”