Volvo Stumps World's Top Treasure Hunters
Volvo Car Corporation is declaring a 'do over' in its global online treasure hunt after all 21 finalists failed to solve the final puzzle within the given 24 hour time limit this weekend. The 21 would-be pirates from all over the world gathered at their respective computer screens Saturday for their ultimate chance at claiming the prize -- a trip to recover a treasure chest filled with $50,000 in gold doubloons and a key to a new Volvo from its watery depths 'somewhere in the world.' But it turned out that Volvo had all contestants 'at sea' with a final puzzle that proved too difficult for even the hardiest pirates.
"We really didn't see this coming," said Linda Gangeri, national advertising manager for Volvo Cars of North America. "Our Hunt has been tough from the beginning and we have been in awe of all the amazing puzzle-solving skills and sharp minds out there meeting us at every twist and turn. We really didn't expect to baffle our finalists with the final puzzle. Who knew a car company could keep 21 pirates from claiming precious treasure? For now, at least."
The wildly popular Hunt, a month-long multi-media campaign developed as part of Volvo's sponsorship of the Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, attracted more than 32,000 online contestants from 22 markets around the world. Participants solved a series of puzzles that led to a semi- final puzzle, Puzzle 21: World's End, posted May 31. The first contestant from each country to submit the correct answer then went on to compete in the Final Leg. All participating markets were represented in the Final Leg with the exception of Italy, who didn't have a participant submit a correct semi-final answer within the time limit.
The first of the 21 finalists to solve the 'do over' final puzzle Tuesday will be named the winner and receive a trip to the burial location to retrieve the chest filled with $50,000 in gold and a key to a new Volvo XC90.
Forty-three-year-old Deborah LaValley from Juneau, Alaska, is ready for the challenge. LaValley, who participated in last year's Hunt too, is thrilled with this year's game. "I can't stop thinking about different scenarios or possible locations. I really have no idea what to expect. I'm just excited that I get a second try at claiming the treasure."
Once a winner has been declared, both final puzzles will be posted on The Hunt Web site for all participants to test their puzzle solving powers one last time.