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It's just like Willy Wonka giving away his candy factory...minus the Oompa Loompas and grandparents in bed! Everyone's talking about Jelly Belly doing an online contest, saying you could win a candy factory. Is that's what really happening?

Not exactly. The man who invented Jelly Belly, David Klein, IS doing the contest, but the Jelly Belly owners are not giving away a candy factory.

David Klein, the sponsor of the "treasure hunt" contest gaining attention within the media this weekend, is not associated with Jelly Belly Candy Company, its brands, or products. In 1976, Mr. Klein, an independent third party, came up with the name "Jelly Belly" and other novel marketing ideas. Jelly Belly Candy Company has not had a relationship with Mr. Klein since 1980 when it acquired the trademark. (Source)

Read what I found out and I think you might decide it's less of a game and more of a way to bring in cash to the inventor of Jelly Belly.

Ronald Reagan Honored With Jellybeans
Getty Images

David Klein is heading toward retirement, and wants to give away a candy factory. So there will be a bunch of cash-prize treasure hunts ($5,000 prize). If you take part in those, you're eligible to go on the ultimate treasure hunt.

Exactly what treasure are you searching for? A key to one of his candy factories.  The story goes that Klein and his partner went across the USA, "...hiding “gold style tickets in the form of necklaces in places they come across with an interesting story.” (Source for Candy Factory Giveaway)

Want to get into the treasure hunt? Then you have to pay a $49.99 entry fee. That'll get you access to one state's clue. Each state is limited to 1,000 players. Which is a pretty nice chunk of change for Klein. Include all 50 states and you're up around $2,500,000 in entry fees. You can enter for the clue for Minnesota, but no clue release date is available.

Can you see the candy factory? Apparently not. I searched all over the place and on the treasure hunt Facebook page's FAQ does I found this info about the factory.

One of his candy factories in Florida

Which one? Do you own it outright or what? There was a little more detail in this story, but not much more clarity...

Klein declined to comment on the actual value of the factory he’s giving away, citing fluctuations in the real estate market. He says the property is 4,000 square feet and located in Florida, where he lives, and the winner of the contest will become the new owner. (SOURCE)

In this story, from FoodProcessing.com, the reporter said...

Klein told us...The 4,000-sq.-ft. factory in Hawthorn, Fla., makes "various candy items."

It took me a bunch of time to search that info and dig thru stories to find the tiniest bit of detail. This is the kind of information I would think would be upfront and center in the promotion. So...I guess I'd say player beware, OK? Plus, then, there's this video.

Not calling it a scam, just saying, "Keep your eyes open and read all the fine print."

Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.

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