Wine enthusiasts, treasure-hunters and just those feeling lucky have been signing up since April 12 for what organisers claim is the world’s biggest treasure hunt with a prize worth €100,000.
Participants pay €30 to participate in the ‘Elixir d’Or’ hunt and receive a ‘parchment’ online with six puzzles which can lead to a chest buried somewhere around Paris in the Ile-de-France region.
The person who finds it wins a cellar full of prestigious wine worth €100,000 or just the €100,000.
The hunt, organised by treasure hunt company Unsolved, tourist guide Petit Futé and the Vaux-le-Vicomte Château, is inspired by the fictional adventurer, alchemist, polyglot and spy, the Comte de Saint-Germain.
Competitors will study his will (available in French only) and use their oenological knowledge to decrypt the puzzles. The hunt is based on the concept of armchair treasure hunting, meaning that participants from anywhere can take part as they will only have to leave their homes once the puzzles have been solved to go and dig up the chest.
The chest will gave the winner access to the wine cellar at Vaux-le-Vicomte Château, said to have inspired Versailles, with bottles such as Domus Maximus 2000 from the Château Massamier la Mignarde (voted best wine in the world in 2005), an Armagnac Garreau 1925 and Château Margaux 1st grand cru classe 1996.
You can still visit the wine cellar, without taking part in the treasure hunt, at Vaux-le-Vicomte Château in Ile-de-France. The chateau welcomes around 300,000 visitors per year.
To access the treasure hunt visit the French only website elixirdor.com.