Oregon Radio Station Behind Mystery Cash Prizes in Grocery Stores

Elise Solé

The mystery surrounding  a series of $100 bills recently tucked into items at grocery stores in Oregon has been solved. Turns out, the good deeds were the work of a Portland radio station trying to drum up publicity and spread some good fortune.

Despite speculation that  the mystery donor was an unidentified local lottery winner, on Wednesday, The New 98.7 The Bull (KUPL) announced that it was responsible for mysterious windfalls occurring around Oregon and Southwest Washington — although no one from the station would specify which stores were included in the treasure hunt. "We are everywhere and encouraging others to pay it forward and do the same," the station's music director "B-Dub" wrote in an email to Yahoo Shine.

Over the past week, 12 shoppers at a Fred Meyer grocery store on Southeast Commercial Street in Salem were delighted to find $100 bills stuffed inside egg cartons, ice cream containers, and other random grocery items over the past few weeks. Walmart customers have also had similar experiences. 

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“We can confirm that there have been 12 different customers who have found $100 bills in our store. Upon finding the money, they’ve all alerted a store clerk and have been allowed to keep the money,” Melinda Merrill, the director of publicity at Kroger, the company that owns Fred Meyer, told Yahoo Shine. “It’s a wonderful thing.”

Shopper Jennifer Smith-Poelz got lucky in the frozen aisle, finding her fortune inside an ice cream container. “I just think this is the coolest thing ever,” she told Portland, Oregon, local news station KGW. “Whoever is doing this has brightened so many people's days. I wish I had ample amounts of cash to be able to surprise people like this. I mean, it's fabulous.”

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Phil (no last name was provided) told KGW that he experienced a double windfall, finding a $100 bill each inside two cookie boxes, while shopping at Walmart. “I opened it up and a $100 bill fell out, just like that,” he said. Phil continued searching the shelves and hit the jackpot again: “There were three boxes left, and l turned them over and lo and behold, there was another $100 bill.“ The timing was impeccable. He is racking up huge gas bills driving to and from a hospital in Portland every day to visit his girlfriend, who is suffering from renal failure.

The radio station says the contest will continue for the next five weeks so there are sure to be more lucky people finding hidden bills in unlikely places.

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