Austin cashes in on MoolahMystery

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The same phenomenon that’s enthralled southern California seems to be growing in the Texas capital as well: an anonymous person giving away cash by the handful and leaving clues on Twitter.

Rather than an anonymous millionaire paying it forward, @MoolahMystery calls itself  “a community that gives away cash by hiding it in random public places in various cities and posting photos and hints until it is found!”

“Nope – we’re NOT millionaires or real estate moguls – we’re just average, hard-working people who enjoyed the INCREDIBLE feeling of giving a few Christmases ago when we sponsored a family,” reads the MoolahMystery website.

So far, people have been able to cash in on Sixth Street and Guadalupe Street by the iconic “Hi, How Are You?” frog mural.

MoolahMystery launched its money mission to spread the wealth just on Tuesday, after reportedly working on a development strategy for two years.

Our photographer Paul Shelton spotted an Austin woman as she found the cash.

moolah“I was shaking I was so excited, I’ve never had the opportunity to just get $100 off the street!” she said explaining that it came at the perfect time “The contract just ended today, so this is a nice carry over until I get that full next time job.”

Behind the mystery

We wanted to know who was leaving the cash around town. So, we made contact with one of the co-founders who tells us he and his co-founders are a group of web developers in Austin.

“A couple of years ago, it may have even been three years ago, we sponsored a family at Christmastime and the joy that we had from that just was so incredible that we wanted to come up with an idea that would allow everybody to be able to experience that same joy of giving,” he explained.

The Moolah Mystery group plans to keep up the act of kindness and hope it spreads to other Austinites.

“Basically anybody can do this and that’s what we’re hoping is that it will catch on and people will do this throughout the country not just in Austin.”

California gone wild

Meanwhile, winners in California have been involved in a scavenger hunt sparked by @HiddenCash. People find cash stashed in envelopes, planted in different spots each time.

Some say that running after money could easily inspire greed, but this seems to have inspired generosity.

And in an anonymous phone interview, the man behind @HiddenCash says that’s the point.

“I’m in that 1 percent that some people loathe,” he said. “But rather than hating people who are successful, my point would be to encourage people who have been successful to give back a little bit more.”

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