Anonymous donor discusses @HiddenMoneyJax

By Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Jun 05 2014 06:35:43 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 05 2014 12:26:46 PM EDT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The philanthropist who is hiding envelopes filled with cash across downtown Wednesday and Riverside/Avondale area Thursday remained anonymous, but answered Channel 4's questions.

Tuesday, the donor dropped five envelopes of money around downtown Jacksonville, and then tweeted out clues. The money totaled $200. A lot of people came out searching for the cash.

@HiddenMoneyJax announced that more envelopes would be hidden Thursday morning and on Saturday afternoon at Jacksonville Beach.

The anonymous donor behind the hidden cash scavenger hunt has tweeted that his goal is to pay it forward. One man who found $20 Wednesday bought several people lunch. Another found $20 and decided to add $20 to it and gave all $40 to charity.

Channel 4 contacted the donor via email and asked a series of questions.  Here's the reply:

"Let me answer these questions as best as I can.

Q: "Why did you start this?"

Because it's something I can do, anonymously, and have fun with it. A big part of it, is I don't want to qualify people. I don't want to be the person that says "this person/group deserves it, and this person doesn't". Who is anyone to do that? It's nice to see someones day made. Another part of it,
I'll answer in your other question regarding the reaction.

Q: "Why Jacksonville?"

A: "Why not? :) A lot of people look at jacksonville a certain way, but I see the buzz, and the potential. I feel the excitement. I love Jacksonville. Someone literally tweeted me that downtown was too sketchy to go looking for money. I think downtown is awesome. Maybe some of the 50+ people running around caught a whiff of that excitement :)"

Q: "What is the message?"

A: "I wouldn't say there is one in particular. Again, I'm not here to qualify people and cherry pick winners. I do hope that it inspires others to do something similar though. And here's the truth, I'm not overly wealthy. I may stress out about money as much as you do when the bills come. But there's someone out there way more stressed out than you are, and giving them $20 to just take care of dinner for the night can be killer! You don't have to be rich to help."

Q: "How has the reaction been?"

A: "Exciting. One of the winners felt inspired that he bought a lot of people lunch in hemming plaza with his winnings. I found out he has $100k in medical bills (http://www.gofundme.com/savemarcslung), which has to be stressful. Instead of taking it himself, he paid it forward. I don't expect or even want everyone to do that. But that's huge and inspiring to me."

Q: "How much money did you give out today?"

A: "Overall, $240 went out today. The first envelope contained $40. The 2nd-4th contained $20. The 5th winner was a twist, and the money wasn't exactly hidden. I asked a stranger in the Hemming Plaza park if he wanted to play a game. He asked "what kind of game?" and laughed. I told him it's a game of trust. If he trusted me, and waited by the fountain I said "someone's going to give you something to make your day. And I think you'll be on the news". He laughed and was like "seriously?!". I took his picture and said "wait here for ten minutes". Meanwhile, I contacted the 4th winner and told him the location of the 5th envelope, and said "make someone's day and deliver the envelope to this guy in Hemming Plaza  (picture was attached)". I watched from afar as the surprised 5th winner started yelling and laughing. It was really a great experience."

Q: "Will there be more giveaways?"

A: "Absolutely. You'll have to follow the twitter account for clues.   Oh, and I posted a run down on what happened here: http://hiddenmoneyjax.com/06.04.14.html"

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