What is it?

The inaugural 2015 Nebraska Treasure Hunt™ gives participants a fun, 10-day opportunity to find treasure, learn about Kearney’s history, and patronize local sponsors and local events. This year’s storyline is “The Trail Lives On!”, historical fiction centering around the Oregon Trail route and its local impact throughout time.

Participants solve clues and earn Points to get them closer to finding hidden treasure tokens representing actual prizes of value. Example hiding locations might include a park, a trail, a museum, the UNK campus, or some other public location.

Parts of the hunt make extensive use of the Kearney App. It is promoted through multiple sources, including NTV, a website and Facebook page, grassroots marketing efforts, and through participating sponsors.

What are the prizes (“treasures”)?

One $2,000 Grand Prize Treasure. Participants have opportunities to solve clues throughout the 10-day period to help them learn more about this mysterious treasure and its location.

One $500 “Top Points Earner” treasure is awarded to one of the Top 10 highest Points earners.

Many smaller treasures valued at $100 each make up smaller hunts hosted throughout the event.

How does it work?

Each day or two, a new Chapter of the storyline is published.  A corresponding “X” is announced at the same time.  That “X” marks the starting location for a new, smaller hunt for a treasure token representing a prize valued at approximately $100, such as a gift card.

The format for each published hunt is consistent.  It includes:


The “X” where the hunt starts.


This is one chapter from the storyline that ties in with the overall theme of the hunt.


A very specific set of instructions that lets the participant know what he is supposed to do to compete for the treasure in this particular hunt.


This describes the unique treasure available, possible Points that can be earned, and what new piece of information might be learned about the Grand Prize Treasure through this particular hunt.


An additional piece of incomplete information that might be useful to the participant, if he is clever enough to connect the dots.

You can read the Official Rules here.

What are Points?

Points are simply incentives to get participants to . . . participate! An effective points-based “Rewards” system is already present within the Kearney App; that same system is being used for this event. Points are valuable to contestants because, 1) they can be used to purchase additional clues, such as the general whereabouts of a hidden treasure token, and 2) they help the contestant get closer to winning the $500 Top Points Earner treasure.

What is the Kearney App? Do I need it to participate?

The Kearney App is a free, community-focused “smart phone” app created for the visitors and residents of Kearney. It helps users explore, learn, and shop Kearney. It is not required for you to use the app to find most the treasures, however, it puts you at a greater advantage if you do. Some of the hunts encourage you to use features in the app to solve key clues. You need the app if you wish to earn Points. http://KearneyApp.com