Some knowledge of the Johnstown region and an understanding of global positioning system coordinates helped a Windber couple score the $10,000 top prize Saturday in the Moneyman’s unique treasure hunt.
After spending most of Saturday morning and afternoon tracking down landmarks for official contest “selfies,” Ashlee and Austin Seese advanced to the finals in Westmont, along with two other two-member teams. The teams were given four tasks to complete.
The winners were the first to complete all four tasks, which concluded with finding their way to the Johnstown Inclined Plane from its GPS coordinates.
Arriving at the Inclined Plane, they found the mysterious Moneyman and his nameless security detail with a briefcase containing the prize.
“I loved it,” Austin Seese said. “It was such a fun day. We had a good time from the time that we started in the morning.”
Ashlee Seese said the scavenger hunt brought their attention to local history that is often overlooked.
“It was really neat to see the different memorials that are around town to honor different people,” she said.
Even those who didn’t make the finals said they enjoyed the experience.
“It was an adventure,” Drew Molchany said on Saturday afternoon after turning in his team’s list of achievements.
“We were from Quemahoning Dam all the way out to Mineral Point,” his teammate, Jared Ott, said.
Molchany was dressed as Sherlock Holmes and Ott dressed as Dr. John H. Watson, earning bonus points for team uniforms.
Each team of two was given a list of nearly 300 photo assignments, along with a numbered placard to hold in the "selfie" images.
“They were classic Johnstown landmarks, and up-and-coming stuff,” Molchany said, identifying the Staple Bend Tunnel and Steel City Axe business in Geistown among the sites.
Other stops included the high-water mark on City Hall, the Inclined Plane platform, a convertible car, a lawnmower and the Chapin Arch on Menoher Boulevard. More specific items scored more points.
“We didn’t even finish even a quarter, probably, of the list,” Molchany said. “The last six hours just flew by, but we were doing something the whole time."
Lahkeema Dickey and Cieaira Matthews, both of Johnstown, wore matching “Weapons will form, none will prosper” shirts.
Dickey said she learned about local landmarks she never knew existed.
“It was just a fun thing to do,” she said.
Teams checked in at Saturday afternoon at three locations: Central Park, Roxbury Park and Lorain Park, where they turned in sheets with accomplished goals to Moneyman’s crew members. The crews then retired to tally scores and select the top three teams for finals in Westmont.
More than 300 people participated in the event, which carried an entry fee of $35 a team.
In an exclusive interview with The Tribune-Democrat, the Moneyman said the event’s goal was to provide some educational entertainment.
“There’s a lot of cool things that Johnstown has,” he said. “They learned a lot about the positive things.”