Hunt, and you’ll find cash

A healthcare professional, Arun goes on location hunts on the weekends. “The area I choose cannot be random.
Screengrabs of Arun placing currency notes for Chennaiites to search
Screengrabs of Arun placing currency notes for Chennaiites to search

CHENNAI: Have you ever stopped for a moment and thought about the joy you feel when you find money in an unexpected place? A `10 note in your bag at the time of need, a `100 note in your washed and ironed jeans pocket, or some savings that you kept in a corner of your purse, only to find it when the purse was in tatters. Now, imagine finding money under your seat in a bus; or in your car’s bumper in a parking lot.

The feeling would be nothing less than that of hitting a jackpot, right? Hiding money in unassuming places — from trial rooms to metro station lifts — Arun Prasad (@chennai.cashhunt) is trying to spread some smiles and luck with this treasure hunt. “I got inspiration from a similar page started in Kochi and I’m doing this for fun,” says Arun, whose Instagram reels on this concept have gone viral.

A healthcare professional, Arun goes on location hunts on the weekends. “The area I choose cannot be random. It has to have some significance if not it is difficult to locate the place,” he says. If the locality is easily found, people engage more with the post and this way “Instagram algorithm is also taken care of. With more engagement, the videos are pushed more,” he adds.

Arun finds an easy-to-hide and equally easy-to-reach spot at the locations and waits around. He first checks if anybody has noticed him keeping the cash. “When I keep the money and walk back, people who have seen me hiding quickly come and take it away, even before I could post the video,” shares Arun. On the contrary, some people also find difficulty in accessing the currency. “I have received many suggestions that I shouldn’t push the money deeper in the seats, under a heavy object, or in electric poles,” he adds.

Learning from such incidents, Arun ensures that all the hints are incorporated into the videos. He also scans the surroundings before locking a spot. “Usually, the location is identified and money is discovered within 20 minutes of uploading the video,” says Arun. To check the credibility, the followers record a video of the money found and comment ‘cashed’ under the respective location’s video, he shares.

When the comment is posted, Arun shares the video on his Instagram story alerting others. There have been instances when his followers have travelled long distances only to be disappointed. “The ones who couldn’t get their hands on the money call and text me. They explain their situation and ask for money. I then get their UPI details and send them a few hundred for petrol,” explains Arun. Taking this fun game the wrong route, Arun has also come across requests for a few thousand rupees to pay off debts. “I mostly try to avoid such messages. I don’t open their chats and do not encourage them,” he says.

Through the page, Arun wishes to create a community in the city that could come together when the need arises. While the prime focus is to grab people’s attention and form a group, Arun also aims to generate revenue from this account. “I am looking at building an audience base and then working on brand promotion,” he adds. For this, he is collaborating with a few brands. “I am in talk with Teaboy.

We are collaborating and offering 100 free cups of tea to the public. Another one is for music concerts (and open mics), where they are sponsoring free tickets. Along with the money, we will give away tickets,” he says. This way, the brand is promoted and Arun is also financially supported, which he might use in setting up a business sometime in the future. But as of now, Arun is preparing for his next video.

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The New Indian Express