Two Women Win $10,000 After Finding Item Hidden Under Las Vegas Bench For Almost 10 Years

Two women have won $10,000 after tracking down a silver ornament made in the shape of the letter Z that's been hidden under a bench at Eldorado Park in Las Vegas for almost 10 years. The discovery was made as part a nationwide treasure hunt offering $10,000 for each of four hidden items that are found.

Clues on the location of the items are outlined in The Great U.S. Treasure Hunt ebook released by David Steele in November, who placed the ornament under the bench nearly a decade ago while he was visiting Las Vegas.

Interested treasure hunters need to "decode a message in any of the four chapters of the book and the message leads you to an ordinary item hidden (not buried) in public, somewhere in the 48 continental United States," according to the ebook's Amazon listing.

"Hidden within each chapter are messages which guide the readers to 4 exact locations and describe items to be found at each location. There are no illustrations, only text. If you can read English, you can decode the messages," the listing noted.

A month after the book was released, a clue was shared on December 13 on the Twitter account of the ebook, which noted: "This is the first bonus clue for The Great U.S. Treasure Hunt. CHAPTER FOUR. Singing loudly for all to hear, if it's a One Hit Wonder, then it should be clear, start your quest for treasure there."

The clue prompted Beth Hovanec, an artist based in the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania, to use the letters from the 'One Hit Wonders' listed in chapter four of the book to spell out the message: "North Vegas, Eldorado Bench, Silver Z."

Hovanec recruited a friend, Nancy Zitko, who lives just a few miles away from Eldorado Park where the treasure was to be found. Zitko set out for the park at 7 a.m. local time on a Sunday morning where she found the ornament at the bottom of the bench.

Hovanec was given $9,000 for solving the riddle, while Zitko won $1,000 for physically finding the ornament, as per the rules of the treasure hunt, which state "an 'accidental' find earns only $1,000...you must solve the code for the full $10,000 prize," according to the ebook's Amazon listing.

The item for Chapter 4 has been stuck under a bench in Eldorado Park in North Vegas for nearly 10 years.

We last checked on it in July, and now it's finally been found! pic.twitter.com/3zPXMsCRk7

— The Great U.S. Treasure Hunt (@GreatUSTreasure) December 20, 2020

Three hidden items remain to be found in The Great U.S. Treasure Hunt. "They are within 500 feet of a free, safe parking space. No hiking, boating, swimming, or any dangerous activity is required. Simply travel to the location, park, and go to the spot where the item is hidden. Get the item, and you win $10,000.

"Winners must be 18 or older, but readers as young as 10 or 11 might be able to discover the methods needed to crack the codes.

"For every 30 days that we have no winner, a clue will be given on social media. Those clues do not work alone; they require having the book to make any sense, so only Hunters who have purchased the book will be able to make use of them," according to the ebook listing.

Beth H from Pittsburgh solved it.
Nancy Z from Vegas found it.

Great teamwork!

3 more $10,000 items remain in the Great U.S. Treasure Hunt. Will you win next?

No digging. No dangerous areas. No entry or parking fees. 3 states, 3 time zones.#TreasureHunt pic.twitter.com/DXBGs7OjOZ

— The Great U.S. Treasure Hunt (@GreatUSTreasure) December 21, 2020

Earlier this year in September, the owner of a candy-making factory launched a hunt for golden tickets, similar to the plot for the book and film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The founder of The Jelly Belly jelly beans and Tricky Treasures arranged for gold tickets to be hidden across the world for people to find ahead of his retirement.

In June, a treasure chest hidden by author and artifacts dealer Forrest Fenn was found following a decade-long treasure hunt. The author hid the chest, worth at least $1 million, in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana 10 years ago.

Earlier this month, a grandson of Fenn confirmed the identity of the chest locator, who was revealed to be a medical school student from Michigan.

Back in April, an elementary school teacher in New York, Jenifer Levinson, launched a virtual scavenger hunt to help students who are at home amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic better connect with each other as well as herself.

Las Vegas New Year's Day January 2020
Fireworks seen over Las Vegas, Nevada during a New Year's Day celebration on January 1, 2020. Two women have won $10,000 after discovering an item hidden under a park bench in Las Vegas for almost 10 years. Bryan Steffy/Getty Images