The hunt for the golden ticket to the candy factory is ON. And yes, this is real.

Illustration for article titled The hunt for the golden ticket to the candy factory is ON. And yes, this is real.
Photo: Atlantide Phototravel (Getty Images)

It figures that of all the titans of the candy industry, at least one would have their own Willy Wonka-style dreams. That person is David Klein, the founder of Jelly Belly and Tricky Treasures, who says that when he got into the candy came way back 1976, his dream was to one day give a candy factory to a complete stranger. Now, Klein is getting ready to retire, and it’s time to make that dream come true... Wonka style.


David and his partner have begun traversing the country and hiding special necklaces in random places that have an interesting story behind them. These necklaces are part of a countrywide scavenger hunt that everyone can join by purchasing a $50 ticket on Each of the 50 states will have its own hunt, kicking off on different days all throughout the fall. Lucky ticket holders will be able to search for a mystery prize valued around $5,000. Once all 50 treasure hunts are complete, everyone who participated will be eligible to search for “The Ultimate Treasure,” which will be the key to one of Klein’s candy factories and an all-expenses-paid tuition at a candy-making university.

In addition to the fun and excitement of participating in a real-life quest for a “golden ticket,” every person who buys a ticket will receive a 40-pack of CBD-infused jelly beans made by Spectrum Confections, which is very thoughtful. There will only be 1,000 tickets sold for each treasure hunt, so if this is something you’ve dreamed about doing since you were a child, you may want to act fast.

Allison Robicelli is a writer, recipe czar, former professional chef, author of four (quite good) books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Tweet me for recipe help: @Robicellis.


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do the other participants die horrific deaths as well?