Steven Grant, cofounder of the Plenty of Twenties website, shows off the $20 bill he hid under the Red Auerbach statue in 2011. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
The co-founder of a nearly three-year-old Boston cash giveaway said he thinks the person or people behind the recent West Coast "Hidden Cash" craze should give the Hub entrepreneurs credit.
The Twitter handle @hiddencashexplodedin popularity this month after it started posting pictures of envelopes stuffed with cash that were placed in various spots around San Francisco and other Bay Area locations. Followers then try to be the first one to the spot to claim the cash. The Twitter profile describes the giveaway as "an anonymous social experiment for good."
But for nearly three years, Steven Grant and Richard Cook have been padding the pockets of Bostonians through their website Plenty of Twenties. They post online and share photos of spots around Greater Boston where they stash $20 for someone to find. The friends started Plenty of Twenties in 2011. In a 2011 interview, Grant told Metro their venture started as a social experiment "just to see what happened."
On Tuesday, Grant said in a statement that he thought the West Coast version was great, but that credit is due.
"I think it's great what he or she or them is doing, making people's days just like us. And it looks like they can give even more money away than we can," Grant said in the statement. "I mean it'd be nice if he gave us credit for the idea though. He's even calling it a social experiment, using clues, etc. But hey that's their prerogative."
In this 2011 photo, Nicholas Ye searches under the Red Auerbach statue for the $20 bill hidden by Steven Grant, cofounder of the Plenty of Twenties website. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
While the Boston version gives away $20, Hidden Cash stuffs envelopes with $100.
In an interview with PEOPLE magazine, the anonymous donor said he is a wealthy real estate developer between the age of 35 and 45.
"This is intended to put a smile on people's faces," he told the magazine. "I can show people that they can pay it forward."