Duo completes Grand Rapids treasure hunt, finds $5,000 prize

Posted at 3:28 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 19:45:31-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The hunt took them all over the city. Downtown, Northside, Eastown, near the Zoo, near the ball park – everywhere.

But the life-changing treasure Chris Tongen and Steve Crockett were looking for turned out to be perched in a small tree near the edge of Oak Hill Cemetery, perhaps the last place they expected.

The duo are the winners of Grand Rapids Metro Area Treasure Hunt, or MATH for short. It’s the brainchild of local math teacher Brian, who preferred not to use his last name.

“It was something I thought could be exciting and new in the area and from the sounds of it, I think people did have fun and might be interested in doing it again,” said Brian.

And Brian has every intention of bringing the contest back next year. But for now, he and the winning pair are basking in a successful inaugural run.

“Surprised and relieved,” Brian said. “I was excited someone was able to find the $5,000, [and] have fun doing it.”

The clues, often as short as one sentence, gave hints that brought hunters to different sites around town that offered information as to where the final treasure was placed. Chris and Steve, both computer programmers, used Google Maps to chart out each clue and realized it formed a triangle, eventually discovering that the treasure lay in the middle. In fact, the two had passed the treasure more than once in their travels.


Chris and Steve used the clues they had and Google Maps to literally triangulate the location of the treasure.

As for what Chris and Steve plan to do with their winnings, they’ll split it down the middle. Steve and his wife are expecting their first baby in July, so his share will go towards that. Chris’ saving or spending plans are still up in the air.

For more information on MATH, click here.