Real-life Willy Wonka is hiding a winning ticket in each US state.
Want to win $5,000 and a shot at your very own candy factory? David Klein, founder of candy company Jelly Belly, no longer owns the business, but he's playing Willy Wonka just the same. In a video posted to TheGoldTicket.com, Klein explains that he's hiding "gold tickets" -- they look like gold-colored military dog tags -- in each US state. And one person will win one of Klein's Florida candy factories. The 4,000-square foot factory isn't a Jelly Belly factory. Klein sold his stake in that company in 1980 and started fresh.
It's not as simple as when Charlie Bucket found his golden ticket in author Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book. To play, hunters must pay $49.98 to receive the riddle that will help them hunt down the gold necklace. Different state riddles will be released on different days, beginning with Georgia's on Sept. 30. Those who pay will be allowed into a private Facebook group about their hunt, and only 1,000 people can participate in each hunt.
"We've already hidden quite a few of (the necklaces)," Klein said in the video. After the state necklaces are found, Klein says, "we're going to have the ultimate treasure hunt where the winner will be receiving a key to one of our candy factories." Contest rules are explained on the website.
"We're looking for you Charlie, out there," Klein said.