Dozens scour downtown looking for free money

@hiddenmoneyjax posting clues, encourageing others to #payitforward

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's caught people's imagination in the rest of the country, and now a pay-it-forward scavenger hunt has arrived in Jacksonville.

"Someone who doesn't need" began posting clues Wednesday morning to Hidden Money in Jax, a Twitter account that went from creation to well over 3,000 followers within 24 hours.

Scores of those followers raced through downtown in response to clues to five envelopes containing cash.  

"I'm devoting my day to this," said Christopher Coty, who is out of work. "I could really use it. It would be very good for me."

The first envelope -- with $40 inside -- was found at the 7-Eleven at the corner of Main and State streets.  Within minutes, a second envelope was found in back of City Hall. A third envelope was found at the water taxi ramp at Jacksonville Landing.

IMAGES:  First envelopes found

"I'm waiting for that next one to pop up and it is mine," said Marc, who didn't give his last name.

A few minutes later Marc found the fourth envelope outside the JaxChamber building next to the Main Street Bridge.

"I walked over here and it was taped to the wall. I pulled it down and celebrated," Marc said, who then took the anonymous donor's advice to pay it forward and used the cash to buy lunch for some people downtown.

That's exactly what the anonymous donor wanted to happen.

"I think I want to see how many other people I can get involved or inspired, to simply give away money," reads hiddenmoneyjax.com. "I'd like to think I've done well for myself. I believe God has blessed me, and I often try to find ways of giving back. Inspired by 'Hidden Money' based in California, I've decided to do something similar in Jacksonville, a city I love."

The five envelopes left downtown Wednesday contained between $20 and $100 -- smaller than some of the envelopes that were found in California, Colorado and New York, but equally appreciated.

"Follow us. Watch us invest in startups. In the near future," the site tweeted. "I plan to fund 3 local startups, with no strings in regard to ownership or repaying me back. We'll get into the details later."

"I want to talk to you, or help, or something else," the website reads. It says to email whatsup@hiddenmoneyjax.com.