David Klein, founder of Jelly Belly, has decided to head into retirement in proper candy mogul fashion, bestowing money and the key to an actual goddamned jelly bean factory on contestants in a nation-wide treasure hunt who prove themselves capable of solving his strange, sugary riddles.
In a presumed effort to thwart any low-class Bucket families from rising above their station, it costs $49.98 to buy one of the tickets required for entry. The admission price gets buyers (limited to 1,000 per state) access to a Facebook forum and a riddle. According to the contest’s site, once the fateful day comes, the riddle will prompt players to hunt down “a Gold Ticket in the form of a necklace with a tag that includes a code you need to use to verify your find.” In return for tracking down one of these necklaces, winners receive $5,000. More importantly, each player “will be eligible to join in on The Ultimate Treasure Hunt where [Klein will] give away one of [his] candy factories.” (An ABC7 News report contains one catch: The factory is located in Florida.)
The internet is understandably wary of any promises made by a guy who refers to himself as “The Candyman” and it remembers the lessons Roald Dahl taught us about eccentric sugar moguls. In response to skepticism about how this whole thing will work—and criticism of the ticket pricing—Klein took to The Gold Ticket’s Facebook group. In an ellipses-filled post, he says he “started this [contest] to have fun and to bring excitement to a world that is so troubled.”
“Unfortunately there have been a few haters that are attempting to take away the fun,” he writes. “I believe in freedom of speech but to be called a scam is so wrong...We will be removing members whose only intent is to take away any joy that this is giving everyone..”
You heard the man. Be wary, if you’d like, about what The Candyman promises, but do not bring your hater comments to his Facebook group lest he ban you, throw you in a chocolate river, or turn you into a giant blueberry mutant.
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