Somewhere in metro Grand Rapids, "X" marks the spot!

A real treasure hunt is about to begin, and the person who follows all the clues and finds the location where it's hidden will be $5,000 richer.

"It's a real life treasure hunt," said Brian, who is organizing the event, and is choosing to remain anonymous. "Since last November, I've been working on this treasure hunt, and it's finally coming to fruition."

Brian won't disclose his last name, but he did say he was a math teacher at a Grand Rapids high school. Being such a math lover, that's likely why he created "Metro Area Treasure Hunts," or, MATH for short.

"It won't be easy," Brian said. "The clues will be very hard to crack."

The clues Brian is referring to will only be available online, but you have to register to be able to receive them.

You can register at

"The fee to participate is $19.99," Brian said. "Once you pre-register, you'll receive the first clue, then there will be 15 more clues to follow.

"New clues will go out every three days, but if participants would like to get a jump on the competition, registered users can get all 16 clues right away if they want to pay a little extra per clue."

Brian says when the $5,000 is found, it won't be a bunch of hundred dollar bills in a backpack. Instead, it will be a coded certificate.

"The first person to follow all 16 clues and find the coded certificate will be asked to go to the website and type in the code, and if it's the correct code, that individual will be awarded a $5,000 cashier's check."

Brian offered some tips to those who register and decide to embark on this treasure hunt.

"Online maps and some web searches should be the primary two tools used as people navigate through the clues to find the treasure," Brian added. "The clues are extremely challenging; many of them took weeks to write because not only did they need to be difficult, I had to make sure they lead someone exactly to where the treasure is.

"One clue took three hours to write because I had to make sure it was exact."

There is no timetable on this high-stakes scavenger hunt.

"It may take three weeks, or it could take three months," Brian said. "The treasure hunt will continue until somebody finds the $5,000.

"My hope is that many people register and choose to participate so this event won't be one-and-done, and more can be organized in the future."

The treasure hunt begins Wednesday, Sept. 21. Pre-registration is open online now.