Santa Monica beach and pier. Photo by John Schreiber.
Santa Monica beach and pier. Photo by John Schreiber.

Thousands of people looking to make a quick buck — not by earning it, but by finding it — are expected to be flocking to the Santa Monica Pier Sunday as a new hidden-money game comes to town.

It’s not clear if added security will be planned for the pier out of concerns that money-hungry participants may become too aggressive for pier-goers safety.

According to the people behind the @HiddenmoneyLA Twitter account, a $1,000 scavenger hunt will be held at noon on the Santa Monica Pier. Organizers say the more people who RSVP for the event on Facebook, the more money will be hidden.

As of Friday, more than 1,600 people indicated on Facebook that they plan to attend, with more than 1,000 more interested in going.

The hunt is a reprise of a craze from two years ago created when a San Francisco real estate investor, later identified as Jason Buzi, dubbed himself “Hidden Cash” and scattered money in various places up and down the coast after completing a profitable deal.

But the latest hunt appears to be the work of somebody new, with the Facebook event hosted by somebody named Francis Hawke. Hawke’s name also appeared on a note included with a $100 prize that was hidden last week at the Tender Greens restaurant in Santa Monica as a prelude to today’s event.

The @hiddenmoneyLA Twitter page states, however, that the organizers are “a group of guys from SV tech companies and Hollywood studios, trying to make the world even more magical.”

According to the event’s Facebook page, participants will need to download a special smartphone app to take part in the scavenger hunt, and clues will be circulated via the app. Participants are advised to bring a fully charged phone, sunscreen, a hat, comfortable shoes, water and snacks.

— Staff and wire reports

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