Hunters scour area, find egg in abandoned box car

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Times-Journal marketing consultant Bill Tomey, far left, is pictured with the four-man team who won the annual $1,000 hunt. The team included Chuck Oates, Matt Davis, Jason Hearon and Wesley Kelly. -- Tim Reeves

Roughly 40-plus hours after their search ended with the discovery of the Times-Journal’s Gator Egg, the four-man winning team, returned to where their search ended and their celebration began.

“When we got here and figured out what it might be, we dove right under the boxcar,” Matt Davis said. “We showed a complete disregard for any safety.”

The team, which consisted of Davis, Chuck Oates, Jason Hearon and Wesley Kelly, were not the first to get to the egg’s hiding location, but they were the first to look in exactly the right place.

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“When we got to the area near the boxcar, we saw a lot of people walking around,” Oates said. “We even had one guy who had come out from behind the boxcar and said ‘it isn’t back there.’”

So what was the first thing the group did when they learned they had found the $1,000 prize? Well, they stayed around a little longer, showing everyone else what they had been searching.

“We couldn’t just leave and let everyone keep looking or wondering,” Kelly said. “So, we let some of those who were around come over and look at the egg and the certificate.”

As a group, they estimated they spent nearly 40 hours in searching for the $1,000 prize and enjoyed every minute of it.

“We had a great time, we will definitely do it again,” Hearon said. “I would guess that I drove 40 miles alone Thursday working through the clues.”

This marks the first year for the Times-Journal to host the Gator Egg Hunt. Normally, the Times-Journal had hosted the Treasure Hunt, but officials changed the contest’s focus.

See Wednesday’s edition of the Times-Journal for a list of all the clues published and a description of what those clues were leading hunters to.