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March 10, 2009

Newlyweds win shopping spree in Cape Town treasure hunt

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The streets of Cape Town, photo courtesy Danny C. Jackson

The treasure hunt game that got Cape Town (and the blogosphere) buzzing in February has been won! Recently married couple Jason and Lara Feldman collected the prize – a R20 000 shopping voucher – after exploring the city centre and following online clues.

The final clue may have been easy for English teacher Jason to solve – it took him only 20 minutes to find the memory stick in the newly opened Boo Radley’s Bistro & Bar in Hout Street – but getting to that point required a lot of legwork.

The game was commissioned by the Central City Improvement District and designed by innovative marketing company Cherryflava, as part of a campaign to bring people into Cape Town’s central business district during Retail Therapy week. More than 300 establishments participated in Retail Therapy, offering up to 50% off selected merchandise.

The city-based treasure hunt began with a staged spat between ex-lovers SeanO and Jodi. The couple fought it out on their blogs, seanosgame.blogspot.com and jodisrevenge.blogspot. SeanO announced he would hide a memory stick containing photos of Jodi somewhere in the city, and Jodi offered a R20 000 reward to the person who found it. Clues were posted online and scattered across the city.

In the seventh stage of the competition, contestants were required to take photographs of 18 particular storefronts. The first letters of the names of the stores spelt out the title of a famous Pulitzer prize-winning novel – Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – which was the clue to the whereabouts of the missing stick.  Boo Radley is a character in the book.

Jason and Lara (also in the teaching profession) were at first hesitant to play the game. “I am so happy we continued , though, as I met and spoke with so many people whom I never would have known without this adventure,” Lara said after finding the memory stick. “Doing this challenge every day this week between work commitments has been really difficult but we have had fun and discovered so many awesome new places in town.” 

Jason and Lara will be given R20 000 to spend at any of the 300 participating Retail Therapy stores. They will be given stickers to place on the items they want, after which a representative will purchase the item and deliver it to the Feldmans.

When asked what they would be interested in spending the money on, Lara replied: “Jason and I are newlyweds, so a shopping spree is just what we need!”

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