Hunt for Treasure Chest Ends after 10 Years

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. prized / praɪzd / (adj) – having great value or importance

    My sister felt sad when we moved to a smaller house and she had to give away her prized book collection.

  2. obsession / əbˈsɛʃ ən / (n) – an idea or thought that a person can't stop thinking about, sometimes to the point of not being able to think of anything else

    I had an obsession with video games. I stayed up all night just playing them.

  3. jeopardize / ˈdʒɛp ərˌdaɪz / (v) – to put someone or something at risk of being harmed or damaged

    The doctor said that my poor sleeping habits could jeopardize my health.

  4. garner / ˈgɑr nər / (v) – to get, earn, or receive something

    The detectives garnered praise for solving the case quickly.

  5. hoax / hoʊks / (n) – an act or a plan that is intended to deceive people

    The man got an email saying that he won the lottery, but it was just a hoax.


Read the text below.

Fenn Treasure, a hidden treasure chest valued at approximately $2 million, has been discovered in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

The treasure chest was buried by a millionaire from New Mexico named Forrest Fenn in 2010. In the same year, Fenn released his autobiography The Thrill of the Chase, which included a poem that hinted to the chest’s location.

The hidden fortune lured more than 350,000 people from different countries. Last June, Fenn announced on his website that a man who wanted to remain anonymous had found the chest and sent him a photo as proof.

In an interview, Fenn recounted that the idea of hiding a treasure chest came during his battle with cancer in 1988. Fenn said that thinking about death inspired him to give away a part of his wealth through a treasure hunt.

When Fenn recovered from cancer, he continued his plan to hide some of his prized possessions, including gold coins, jewelry, and other rare artifacts, in a bronze chest. Fenn hoped the treasure chest would encourage people to go outdoors and have adventures. However, critics accused Fenn of fueling an unhealthy obsession and jeopardizing lives, with many people going to dangerous locations just to look for the treasure.

The discovery’s announcement garnered mixed reactions. One treasure hunter said she wanted to know where the chest had been hidden for her peace of mind.

Another, however, said that she might regret knowing the location of the chest, especially if she found out that she had been really close but missed it. Some people even claimed that the treasure was all a hoax because Fenn had not revealed or posted photos of the treasure’s exact location.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think that Fenn’s treasure was real? Why or why not?
• What do you think could convince people that the treasure hunt was real? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think the criticisms against Fenn’s act of starting a treasure hunt are reasonable? Why or why not?
• Given the chance, would you like to go on a treasure hunt? Why or why not?