BUSINESS

@HiddenCashTO, @HiddenCashYVR Handing Out Hundreds Of Dollars To Strangers

06/03/2014 11:48 EDT | Updated 06/03/2014 11:59 EDT
Tamswillrun via Twitter

A California millionaire’s scavenger hunt for hidden cash has come to Canada, with copycat hidden-cash campaigns popping up around Toronto and Vancouver.

The Twitter account @HiddenCashTO has so far hidden four stashes of cash around Toronto, totalling $400, the Toronto Star reports.

And @HiddenCashYVR has been doing the same in Vancouver. The anonymous people behind the accounts tweet clues to the money’s location, asking those who find it to tweet back a photo of the found money.

It all began, reportedly, as a sort of protest against rising income inequality. An anonymous California millionaire, identified in the press as a “real estate magnate,” began leaving stashes of cash around San Francisco last month.

He or she told Bay Area press they were concerned about growing inequality in San Francisco, which has the greatest wealth gap of any city in North America.

“I’ve made millions of dollars the last few years, more than I ever imagined, and yet many friends of mine, and people who work for me, cannot afford to buy a modest home in the Bay Area,” the person told the Bold Italic. “This has caused me quite a bit of reflection. I am determined to give away some of the money I make, and in addition to charity, to do it in fun, creative ways like this.”

The campaign soon expanded to Los Angeles, where “pandemonium” broke out on after the mysterious millionaire left 36 “Angry Birds” toys filled with cash lying arond Hermosa Beach.

The campaign is now spreading worldwide as copycat donors launch accounts from Britain to the Netherlands to Hong Kong.

The anonymous millionaire’s counterparts in Canada may not be quite as wealthy, and appear to be doing it simply as a way of engaging the community, rather than as a protest against inequality.

“I don’t have A LOT of money by any means. Just enough to make a difference one envelope at a time,” the person behind @HiddenCashTO told the Star.

The person urges those lucky enough to find a stash of cash to “pay it forward.”

“It doesn’t have to be money. People can do the same thing by offering shelter to the homeless, giving a kid a few bucks for chocolate drives or sponsoring a child in a distant country who can’t afford to get an education.”