PROVO -- Super sleuth Duncan Lilligo loves hunting for treasures, but this local entrepreneur has been caught off guard by the popularity of his Great Provo-Orem Treasure Hunt, which begins Friday. The kickoff for the hunt will be held Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. in North Park, 500 N. 500 West. Hot dogs and drinks will be served.
Lilligo was originally using the treasure hunt as a gimmick to announce his new business for BYU and UVU students, SavvyTextbooks.com, an online ordering house for new and used textbooks designed specifically for the local schools.
"My goal was to connect with students," Lilligo said. Instead Lilligo has had just as many families sign up for his treasure hunt as he has students.
Lilligo said the idea was born nearly 15 years ago when he and his wife were managing different restaurants in Ottawa, Canada. A local radio station was sponsoring a treasure hunt in the area and after the restaurants closed, at about 1 a.m. the two would go out hunting. Lilligo said it was great fun and that some of the best conversations he had with his wife were during those hunts. He was surprised at how many other people were out hunting at that hour.
"We thought for sure we were so close and then the treasure was found 30 miles away," Lilligo said.
The clues are meant to be difficult. He is hoping the local treasure hunt will take up to 45 clues, or more than a month of people scouring Provo and Orem, to find.
"This won't be easy. It's going to be hard to find," Lilligo said. "There will also be mini hunts with prizes from Coca-Cola, Seven Peaks and others."
Lilligo will give out clues six days a week with a rest on Sunday. "I have already told the police. The prize is not hidden anywhere dangerous," he said. "It is a really good way for kids to connect with parents. It's way more fun in groups."
Clues for the hunt can be found online at www.ProvoTreasureHunt.com; on Twitter, @ProvoTreasure; Facebook, Provo.TreasureHunt; email, dl@ProvoTreasureHunt.com; or on a free app for Android or you can pay for the iPhone app. Those who pay for the iPhone app will get clues several hours earlier, according to a Facebook post.
Lilligo said he still plans on launching his textbook site in November. He believes this is "a better way to buy and sell textbooks."
The public is invited to sign up for the Provo-Orem Treasure Hunt either online or at the kickoff event Thursday.