Is there a difference between "treasure chest", "treasure", "reward" or "prize"?

No. We use the terms interchangeably.

Where does the treasure come from?

From everyone! The fees for joining contribute directly to the prize so the value of the treasure grows as more people join! Each hunt has its own treasure and every hunt opens with an initial prize value.

Is it a physical treasure?

Are you going to find a fancy chest filled with gold? Not really, no. And that's a good thing. In our modern world, physical treasures have a lot of legal baggage and the government could potentially lay claim to all of it! To protect your treasure (and us), we will send the prize money directly to you (ex: wire transfer).

What does "Pending Increase" mean in the store?

When you join a hunt the fee contributes to the treasure chest, but only once you are outside your preparation period. Until then it lives in a "pending" pool. We report both values to every hunt in the store. To learn more about the preparation period see the relevant question below.

What exactly is a "KEY"?

Every treasure hunt has its own key that "unlocks" the treasure. A key is nothing more than an object in a photograph that has been edited out of the photo. The clues in the treasure hunt's legend lead you to the key. Your task is to find the key, take the same photograph with the object (the key) clearly visible, and send it to us. Once we've verified the key is correct, the treasure is "unlocked" and it's all yours!

EXAMPLE: Image you are provided

EXAMPLE: Image you submit

Where is this edited photo of the key?

We provide the edited photo of the key and the full, unredacted legend once you join the hunt.

There are hidden coins too?

Near every key we have hidden a brass coin. Each coin bears the Legend Has It logo on one side and a unique image on the other. The coins are custom designed and engraved by Andy and Nate. In fact, the photo with the obscured key that we provide also clearly indicates where the coin is hidden. Take it! It's yours!

Legend Has it Treasure Hunt Coin
Legend Has it Treasure Hunt Coin

Why isn't the hidden coin the "key"?

This is a great question! Since the value of the rewards grow over time as more people join the hunts this opens up an attack that we dubbed Hold-Till-Gold. If all that was needed was the coin then someone could try to cheat the other participants by finding and taking the coin but keeping it a secret. Since no one would be able to find the coin the prize value would continue to rise without limit. For this reason the coin is merely a memento not the "key"; it will not grant you the prize. To solve the Hold-Till-Gold problem we realized the key would need to be something that could not be realistically moved, hidden or destroyed. Such a key would properly incentivize its discoverer to publish their findings as soon as possible.

Are the hidden coins worth anything?

We like to think so, but objectively, probably not. The coin itself is more of a memento, a tangible symbol of your success. Having a bespoke, shiny coin on display can also be a good conversation piece to show off your treasure hunting chops!

What's this about a preparation period?

Your preparation period for a hunt starts the moment you join the hunt and ends three weeks later. You will be eligible to win the reward once you are out of the preparation period. This keeps things fair for everyone by preventing what we call the Play-then-Pay attack. This is when someone tries to cheat the other participants by planning to pay into a hunt only after finding the key. We solve this by requiring everyone to wait the full preparation period before being eligible to win the reward. If someone finds the key without having previously joined the hunt, to be able to claim the prize they must join the hunt and then wait. During this time any other eligible person may find the key, submit the photo of it and claim the prize instead. We figure this risk is high enough to encourage all to join first and then go hunting.

Why is the preparation period three weeks?

We need the period to be long enough to discourage the Play-Then-Pay attack. Luckily, you will also need time to research and solve as much as you can before pulling on your boots to find the key. We feel that three weeks is a reasonable length of time that most people need before setting out on their adventure while being long enough to prevent cheating.

What if someone wins the reward while I am in the preparation period?

If someone claims the treasure to a hunt that you have joined and you are still in your preparation period, then you can request a refund! The Participation Agreement explains how to do this.

Is there a time limit?

Nope! Our treasure hunts are designed to be challenging and may take some time to solve. And that's a good thing! The longer it is active, the more people get to join and the larger the treasure for that hunt will grow. The more the merrier!

Is there an age limit?

All are welcome to join, but any minors must have the express approval of their parent or guardian who will accept full responsibility for the minor's actions and well-being. This is explained further in the Participation Agreement.

Is this realistic for a person with average health?

We ourselves are average people and not getting any younger. We specifically explore places that the typical Jane and Joe can reach. You will never need to scale a cliff, ford a raging river, or do anything else dangerous. You are responsible for your safety and well-being, so pack everything you need to stay safe out in the wild.

Can I join multiple hunts?

Of course! Each hunt is unique and independent of the others.

Can I gift a hunt?

I'm glad you asked. Yes! We have gift cards available for purchase on our store that are redeemable for treasure hunts. Please be aware that our system does not allow for refunds on gift cards.

Can we work in groups?

Absolutely. Anyone who has paid to join a hunt is welcome to work with others on it. However, should you win, be aware that we are not able to divide up the treasure among individuals in a group. We will send the treasure to whomever submits the correct key first. After that, it will be their job to divvy up the treasure among group members. So, pick your group members wisely. We accept no responsibility over what happens with the treasure after it has left our custody.

Is the key on public land?

Yes. There will never be a need to go onto private land. We never trespass when creating hunts, so you shouldn't either.

Is the key somewhere impossible to find?

In our opinion, no. Deciphering the clues is the hard part. If you have done that correctly, you will arrive within a few meters of the key and it should be easy to find it at that point.

Will locals have a leg up in finding the key?

Every key is located on public land where the only locals around are nature's critters. Ideally, it is in places not often visited, so everyone should be on equal footing regardless of where you're coming from.

Is this gambling?

Not at all. According to the New Mexico Gaming Control Board (you may be able to guess where we are based) we do not qualify as gambling because there is no significant element of chance in determining the winner. Instead, it relies on your sleuthing skills.

Do I pay taxes on the winnings?

We cannot answer that question for everyone. We highly recommend consulting a tax professional in the country/state where you pay taxes.

Do you sell my information to Google, et al?

Heavens, no! We detest the way big tech and social media platforms peddle your personal and profiling information to anyone and everyone seeking to exploit you. While we cannot control the services we rely on (our web host, payment processors, etc) we vow to never directly participate in this indecency. Ever.