About 40 students searched campus Thursday morning hoping to find a golden egg and win a semester’s worth of free textbooks in the process, but were misled by the presence of “fake” eggs that weren’t part of the official hunt.
As part of an egg hunt organized by the University Co-op, students followed clues posted by Co-op officials on Twitter and Snapchat to search for three eggs hidden on campus. The winner was promised free textbooks for a semester, and the two runner-ups would receive $100 Co-op gift cards, said William Kelleher, promotions manager at the Co-op.
Before the hunt began, someone placed “fake” eggs, not sponsored by the Co-op, around campus, leading several students to believe they had won the free textbooks.
“Some students have too much time on their hands,” Kelleher said. “[I’m] bummed someone did it, but that stuff happens. I felt bad for the students that found [the fake eggs] — it put them on an emotional roller coaster.”
He said he doesn’t know who planted the fake eggs.
The Co-op put on the hunt to increase its social media presence, according to Kelleher. This is the first time the Co-op has used Snapchat in an event to attract students.
Biology freshman Brodi Amos, who found one of the fake eggs near Littlefield Fountain, said the hunt was frustrating because he thought he had won free textbooks for a semester, which he said would have lifted a major financial burden.
“It definitely bothered me that someone had hidden fake golden eggs on the campus,” Amos said. “Once I had found the fake golden egg, I immediately stopped looking and checking Twitter for updates to its location, which is probably exactly what the person who hid them was hoping for.”
Zach Perlman, physical culture and sports sophomore, found one of the eggs containing a gift card. He said because many students came close to finding the same egg, he had to answer a trivia question correctly in order to win the egg officially.
“It was funny because when asked [the trivia question], every person around pulled out their phones and tried to figure out the answer, including me,” Perlman said. “I just got lucky and was able to figure it out first.”
The Co-op gave free T-shirts to students who found the fraudulent eggs and believed they had won free textbooks, Kelleher said.