Burnaby limo driver finds treasure chest filled with gold, silver
A Burnaby man is now $100,000 richer after finding a highly sought after treasure chest.
The real-life treasure hunt started one week ago, when maps and clues were released to Metro Vancouver pirates.
On Friday, Marko Cerda found the buried silver and gold just 18 hours after first purchasing his map.
"It said, 'This is your last clue.' And when that happened, I almost wet my pants.”
He believes his job as a limo driver gave him an edge because he knows Vancouver well, and recognizes landmarks and places of interest.
"As a driver, you’re not just looking for street signs or names, you’re looking for landmarks so you can get to places quickly," Cerda said.
Gold Hunt, the company behind the quest, launched two other treasure hunts that same day in Canada: Edmonton and Calgary.
An Edmonton-area family found the hidden loot in that city within 20 hours.
In Calgary, it took five days, and the treasure was found by an Edmonton man who wanted to try his luck since the treasure was already found in his city.
As for Vancouver? There was also an Alberta connection.
Cerda didn’t know about treasure hunt until a passenger from the prairie province told him.
"What he said was that a lot of people have been going out into the community and discovering new areas because they had been looking for this gold," he said.
Chris Cromwell, a spokesperson for Gold Hunt, said the riddles are the same level of difficulty in all three cities, but admits Vancouver’s landscape is slightly different.
"[The clues] were certainly not harder per se," he said. "Maybe Vancouver is too smart for their own good and they just over thought it. I think that’s closer to what happened here."
Speaking to members of the media Saturday afternoon, Cerda said the moment of discovery was exciting not only because of the money, but because of the satisfaction of figuring out the clues.
"I think that the best part was just kind of realizing that what I had planned out or what I thought was the location, was right," he said. "I drive in the area all the time and I had already seen some of the landmarks, so things just kind of made sense and clicked in. That’s it. I was very lucky."
Gold Hunt is funded by friends and private investors. The company makes money when participants purchase maps and clues, and the business may be lucrative enough to continue.
"I can say that there’s been talks of round two. So I would expect that it has been profitable," Cromwell explained.
He said the company will be revealing all the riddles and locations from the completed hunt next week.