A 22-year-old Waterloo man has been hiding money across the region while dropping hints on TikTok as to where people can find it since last summer to keep people entertained and help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So I started with a $10 bill at first. I went to a school close by,” Juwon Thomas said he told his 200 followers at the time, “if you know the location, the money’s going to be right here for you.”
He said someone found the money and paid it forward to continue the game and allow someone else in on the fun.
While Thomas had 200 followers when he started the game, he is now up to 6,500 and counting.
“I honestly do it just to put a smile on people’s faces,” he said. “Yeah, I get the followers but this is just to mostly help people out.
“People are also struggling.”
Thomas said he was looking for a way to connect with people when he decided to start with the cash stashes.
“I thought in my mind, what is something I could do that could reach out to people and also benefit people?” he explained.
After a week Thomas said he came up with his plan.
While Thomas started small, his money mazes have now grown into the hundreds of dollars as he has now played the game dozens of times.
And it is probably not as hard to solve the mystery as one might think.
“I just put it in the dumbest place that people really wouldn’t look,” he said.
“You really wouldn’t look there like, ‘Nah, it would never be there.’ So I just put in a place like that.”
He said he hid it in the snow once but after it took people hours to find it digging through the snow, he won’t be doing that again.
“They were looking for like three hours until someone eventually found it,” Williams said.
With his newfound followers, Williams has teamed up to promote a boyhood friend’s charity and may do so with others.
The charity, Anatolia KW, is a non-profit organization that helps at-risk youth through education.