The game goes like this: Participants pay $49.99 to enter the treasure hunt, which takes place in every state (though Klein said he’s still working on planting the treasure in all 50 states). Only 1,000 tickets are sold per state, and everyone who buys a ticket is eligible to win Klein’s factory.
But only one player or family will find the golden ticket (actually a gold-colored dog tag) in each state, based on a riddle they receive. Whoever finds the dog tag wins $5,000.
The mysterious candy factory is the ultimate prize, and with it comes full ownership of the building and a candy making course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Klein said. Whoever claims the candy factory can create their own candy company, though Klein will offer his confectionary expertise if necessary.
“The world needs something positive to get their minds off their problems,” he said.
It’s a bucket list item
The similarities to one Mr. Wonka are intentional. Klein said he’s thought about giving away one of his candy factories every day since the 1970s when he appeared on a local talk show and tossed bags of Jelly Belly jelly beans into the audience while “The Candy Man” — made famous in 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” — played.
“It’s on my bucket list,” he asid. “Now, we are finally doing it, and we’re hoping to bring some joy into the world right now.”
Participants still have questions
Many of them aren’t exactly sure what they’ve signed up for. The details are still fuzzy on when they’ll receive a riddle, where in the state the gold ticket will be, and what shape the factory they could win is in. But many of them are willing to play nonetheless — at the very least, they’ll get out of the house.