Watch live: Channel 2 News at 11 p.m.

Greeley man stashes cash, gold around northern Colorado as part of treasure hunt

GREELEY, Colo. -- A Greeley man has ignited a gold rush as people scramble to find the cash and gold he hides around northern Colorado as part of a treasure hunt he runs through social media.

Matt started the Facebook page Northern Colorado Treasure Hunters last month.

He's trying to stay out of the limelight so he asked that just his first name be used. Matt is shocked that in such a short span, he already has 4,000 followers on Facebook.

"Quite honestly, it was just an idea I had. I started the page and it went from there, just snow balled out of control. It's been fun," Matt said.

A few times a week, he stashes cash or gold somewhere in northern Colorado. Then, he snaps a photo and posts it on Facebook. People look for clues in the markings and landmarks in the photo to track down the prize.

During his hunts on Sunday, people were running through parks and fields, trying to be the first people to find the treasures.

"We try to do it every time. I have their text alerts so as soon as it hits, I get it," Courtney Beers said.

"It's a fun thing to be able to do as a family, especially with the weather being so nice," Rebecca Garcia said.

Matt is using his own money for the scavenger hunt. He hopes to bring on businesses and sponsors as his following grows so he can hide bigger prizes.

"I plan on doing it for a long time," Matt said.

For Matt, the biggest prize isn't what he hides, it's what happens as people look for the treasure.

"It gets people out and about. They have fun and it gives families something to do. And there is incentive at the end of the tunnel. That's what I like about it. To watch everyone get hyped up about it and run around the parks," Matt said.

Families participating Sunday said they have fun looking for clues together.

"It's just something to do with the kids and they like looking for things, kind of like Easter," Colton Phelps said.

"I think it's awesome. I think it's a lot of fun. Gives people an excuse to get out and go find stuff, see new places," Cameron Espinoza said.

Anyone can participate and hunt for the treasure by following Matt's Northern Colorado Treasure Hunters Facebook page.