Jelly Belly Founder David Klein Giving Away Factory In Real-Life Willy Wonka Treasure Hunt

by : Lucy Connolly on :
Jelly Belly Founder David Klein Giving Away Factory In Real-Life Willy Wonka Treasure HuntPA Images/WBTV

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have spent your childhood wishing Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was real, so you could win a Golden Ticket and be handed a lifetime supply of chocolate.

But alas, that never happened and all of us quickly had to come to terms with the fact that we were never going to own our own chocolate factory, at least not without putting in some serious graft – and let’s face it, that was never the appeal.


Now, however, our childhood dreams might finally be coming true, as the founder of Jelly Belly is launching a series of golden ticket treasure hunts across the country before he retires, with the main winner walking away with the key to their very own candy factory.

You can find out more about this story below:


Admittedly, there are a couple of things that set this treasure hunt apart from Willy Wonka’s – the first being that it’s obviously not a chocolate factory. And you don’t win a tour of said factory. Oh, and instead of buying a chocolate bar to be in with a chance of winning, you have to pay $50.


Aside from that though, it’s pretty darn similar, with founder David Klein announcing the contest in a video message online. In it, he and his partner said golden tickets in the form of necklaces are in the process of being hidden in secret locations across the US.

‘David is getting ready to retire,’ a press release stated. ‘But not before he has some fun and not before he gives back to everyone who loves the candy industry like he does.’

Jelly BellyWikimedia

The plan is to have multiple treasure hunts for these gold tickets in each state, with anyone who joins any of the hunts then eligible to search for ‘the ultimate treasure’: the key to one of Klein’s candy factories and an all-expenses paid trip to – and an education at – a candy-making university.


Each treasure hunt will have a strict limit of 1,000 participants – ‘no exceptions’ – and the winner of each will win $5,000. Only after these smaller hunts have been completed will players be able to take part in the ‘ultimate’ one.

Klein, who is also known as The Candyman, said in a statement:

With The Gold Ticket Treasure hunt, our goal is to get people out and about with their families. Grandma and Grandpa can even join with the kids and grandkids. Take videos of your treasure hunt experiences for possible inclusion in our upcoming series.

Jelly BellyPA Images

50 Years Later, Roald Dahl Was Definitely Wrong About Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka

published ata year ago

If you’re interested in entering, it will set you back $49.98 (approximately £38), with Klein and his partner saying this is the cost for the riddle you will receive upon entering.

Regardless of the cost, people online seem more than a little bit blown away by the fact our favourite children’s novel is coming to life right before our eyes.

‘Well, I didn’t have “Jelly Belly goes full Willy Wonka” on my 2020 bingo card but here we are,’ one person wrote on Twitter, while another asked, ‘What in the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is this???’


Well, what do you think? Will you be entering?

You can find out more information here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read


Police Applaud Woman Who Shot Dead Gunman At Party After He Opened Fire

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Food, America, California, Food and Drink, Now, US


ABC 7 and 3 others
  1. ABC 7

    Jelly Belly founder to give away candy factory as part of 'gold ticket' treasure hunt

  2. thegoldticket.com

    Jump In The Car And Take Your Family On An Adventure

  3. Cision PR Newswire

    Jelly Belly® Founder to Give Away One of His Candy Factories in Worldwide Treasure Hunt

  4. thegoldticket.com

    How To Play