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Twitter user @HiddenCash
Twitter user @HiddenCash

A Twitter Scavenger Hunt for Cold Hard Cash

Twitter user @HiddenCash
Twitter user @HiddenCash

It all started last Friday with a tweet. An anonymous California man—in a CNN interview he identifies himself as a real estate investor between ages 35 and 45— began hiding envelopes of cash around the Bay Area and tweeting out clues under the handle @HiddenCash. "Drops" have grown to over $100 as his following has ballooned to more than 340,000 followers on Twitter and, in the course of a week, he has moved from San Francisco to San Jose to, most recently, Los Angeles.

The social media-driven scavenger hunt, which includes pictures and clues, has become a sensation. Most drops are found in mere minutes and the winner often poses not just with the cash but also broadcasters and news reporters who rush to the scene.

In a voice-only interview with KTVU, the wealthy benefactor clarified that he often donated money to charity in a more traditional way, but that @HiddenCash is intended to “put a smile on someone’s face” and hopefully encourage them to "pay it forward." The lucky Californians have been eager to follow his advice, tweeting their plans to share it with friends, family, and coworkers.

The account has become more interactive as it's grown, asking followers to weigh in on how the money should be divided up and what other prizes they want to scavenge for.

Earlier today, the account tweeted out a link to a longer message, which addressed some issues—like the flood of emails he has received since starting the project asking for direct financial assistance—and teased the upcoming "big announcement we've mentioned previously (don't worry, you'll like this)." The note also announced a "media blackout on all interviews in any form for the next couple weeks," but quickly responded to concerns to clarify that this does not mean the project itself will go on hiatus. He mentions the cynical response some people have had only in passing and concludes:

There really is no agenda here - not political, not business, not religious - other than bringing people together in a positive way and bringing a smile to people's faces. And, in some cases, happy tears, like the teenage girl tonight who is sending the money she found to her sick grandmother in Mexico. I am so happy that my money is going to help deserving people like this.

And if you're in LA, check Twitter—the next drop could be coming any minute now.

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Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked
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Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"
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Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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