Andrew De Vries wins cash

Andrew De Vries, 30, of Ukrainian Village, was one of the first few to report winning some dough from @HiddencashChi (June 3, 2014)

Andrew De Vries’s morning exercise really paid off.

The 30-year-old Ukrainian Village resident was out for a run early Tuesday when he got an alert that some cash had been stashed nearby.

“At first, I was like … surely someone’s right on the corner, [but] I might as well double back and check,” De Vries said.

When De Vries looked, he said he found three envelopes full of money, courtesy of the mystery tweeter (or tweeters) behind @hiddencashchi.

Turns out, people really like free money. Social media phenomenon @HiddenCash has hit Chicago. @HiddenCashChi’s hints about the whereabouts of envelopes around the city have sparked a frenzied hunt--and, it seems, a copycat or two.

@HiddenCashChi1, which apparently began tweeting just a few days ago, now has more than 1,000 followers. @HiddenCashILChi has just 69--but as of Tuesday morning, hadn’t tweeted anything yet.

So far, a few people have claimed to find money from the mystery benefactors.

De Vries hopes the citywide scavenger hunt will help people reflect on what they already have.

“I think I was motivated by the hunt of it,” he said. “It gets people talking and excited, but at least for me, once I found the cash I was just overcome with ‘Wow, I really would love someone else to find this who has an immediate need.'"

Rather than keep the money, De Vries plans to hide his three envelopes for others to find, likely in West Town or Lincoln Park. He declined to say how much was in the envelopes or get more specific about where he planned to hide them.

"Honestly I think everyone can say, 'someone else needs this more than I do,' " he said. "That’s how it came about with me."

 mcrepeau@tribune.com

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