Jelly Belly founder announces Willy Wonka-esque golden ticket contest

"We're looking for you Charlie, out there," said company founder David Klein, alluding to the classic 1964's children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Jelly Belly jelly beans. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Jelly Belly jelly beans.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ever watch Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory or read the book and wonder, what if this was real life? You may have thought to yourself: "I wanna win my own candy factory! I wanna be like Charlie!"
Time to pinch yourself: You're not dreaming.
In honor of his retirement, the founder of Jelly Belly, David "The Candy Man" Klein, has hidden a number of golden tickets – golden dog tag necklaces to be exact – throughout each of the fifty United States, with the winner getting the keys to their own candy factory.
"It's going to be a treasure hunt across the whole entire country – where we will be hiding [golden dog tag necklaces]. We have already hidden quite a few of them, and we are going to be hiding them in every state across the country," said Klein in a video announcing the contest.
The instructions in the video note that after you have collected one of the necklaces from every state, whether by teaming up with friends and family or going on a deep quest across the country, the winner will be awarded $5,000 dollars plus a key to one of Jelly Belly's candy factories.
"We're looking for you Charlie, out there," said Klein, alluding to the classic 1964's children's novel.
"You will be looking for a Gold Ticket in the form of a necklace with a tag that includes a code you need to use to verify your find," the contest rules state.
However, it should be noted that "each 'Treasure Hunt Game' will have a game location and start date and cost $49.98 to play (this is the cost for the riddle)." So while it's not a wild goose chase, it is also not free – and "the registered person who purchased the game play will be signed up in a private forum." Registered parties must also have a Facebook account. Each treasure hunt will also have a limit of 1,000 participants.
The factory that will be given away will be one of Klein's personal "Candyman Kitchens" in Florida, according to ABC7 – since he no longer owns the company.
"The world needs this right now. We have received thousands of comments from people who say this has come at such a perfect time," said Klein, according to ABC7.