SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Tweets are turning golden in San Francisco, thanks to an anonymous Twitter user hiding cash and then firing off clues as to where to find the loot.
More than US$5,000 (S$6,290) in total has been given away by the person behind @HiddenCash, and word out on Tuesday was that the practice in playful generosity was spreading south to the city of San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The @HiddenCash account has about 103,000 followers as of early Wednesday morning, and the number is climbing as people learned that figuring out sometimes simple hints could lead to payoffs.
"Frankly, a little overwhelmed with requests for media and cash," a post at #HiddenCash said on Tuesday. "It hasn't even been a week. Wow."
Time magazine identified @HiddenCash as someone who made a bundle in real estate and set out to "put smiles on people's faces" by giving a bit back to folks not as well off.
In the Time interview, the anonymous person behind @HiddenCash called on other 'haves' to be a bit more generous when it comes to giving back. He also advised those less well off "not to look to @hiddencash or a lottery ticket to be your salvation."
Clues have led people to money stashed in places such as Fisherman's Wharf, The Palace of Fine Arts, and near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.
"New SF drop: find Mr. Franklin along the 'crookedest street' (towards the bottom)," a clue at @HiddenCash said in an apparent reference to a one hundred dollar bill planted on Lombard Street.
In a sign that the acts of random generosity are having ripple effects, people finding cash are 'tweeting' back about treating friends or co-workers to pizza, drinks, shares of the find, and more.
A message at Twitter said to watch for clues to @HiddenCash in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose on Wednesday.