By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Looks like Willy Wonka has some stiff competition.
David Klein, the man who came up with the name for Jelly Belly jelly beans, has a new riff on the classic golden ticket idea made famous by the book-turned-1971 musical fantasy movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Klein announced in a video message a series of treasure hunts across the country filled with prizes. One lucky winner will actually walk away with the keys to his or her own candy factory before Klein retires.
Klein said in a video message that the elusive tickets are being hidden in secret locations throughout the U.S.
“You will be looking for a Gold Ticket in the form of a necklace with a tag that includes a code you need to use to verify your find,” the contest rules explain. “Winners will receive $5,000.”
Of course, there can only be one grand prize winner like the book’s protagonist Charlie Bucket.
“We are going to have the ultimate treasure hunt where the winner will be receiving a key to one of our candy factories,” Klein said.
Although Klein no longer owns the trademark for Jelly Belly, he told ABC News that he is giving away one of his “Candyman Kitchens” in Florida.
“The world needs this right now. We have received thousands of comments from people who say this has come at such a perfect time,” Klein said about the country-wide treasure hunt.
Participation to get the riddle or clue costs just under $50 and the treasure hunt in each state is strictly limited to 1,000 people.
Each treasure hunt will have a game location and start date and registered players will be signed up in a private Facebook group where the clue will be posted.
The winners must submit the gold ticket code by email with the location where it was found.
Jelly Belly Candy Company responded to the contest in a statement to ABC News “to clear up the misconception that it is involved with a contest that purportedly offers a candy factory as its grand prize.”
“David Klein, the sponsor of the ‘treasure hunt’ contest gaining attention within the media this weekend, is not associated with Jelly Belly Candy Company, its brands, or products,” the spokeswoman told ABC News. “In 1976, Mr. Klein, an independent third party, came up with the name ‘Jelly Belly’ and other novel marketing ideas. Jelly Belly Candy Company has not had a relationship with Mr. Klein since 1980 when it acquired the trademark.”
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