Michigan jeweler buries $1M of goodies for wild treasure hunt

Let the games begin!

A jeweler and treasure-hunting enthusiast is launching a quest for his $1 million fortune.

After 23 years, Johnny Perri, owner of J&M Jewelers in Washington Township, Michigan, has decided to close after the coronavirus pandemic impaired his business.

In an interview with Fox 2 in Detroit, he relayed a conversation he had with his fianceé. “I said, ‘Amy, we can take everything out and retire or we can bury it across the state of Michigan.’ ”

Johnny and Amy scoured Detroit for the best antiques, ultimately dropping $1 million on valuables, such as rare coins, jewelry and fine dining ware. They plan to hide several cachés of treasure worth around $4,000 each, one of which includes bulk silver, which goes for about $20 per ounce, according to the jewelry expert.

“We went through waterfalls, streams, we kayaked everywhere” to find the best hiding spots across Michigan, he said.

Johnny was inspired by legendary treasure hunter Forrest Fenn, whose $1 million gold chest was recently discovered in the Rocky Mountains after a decade-long search.

“Giving people adventure is giving them something to believe in again — besides this COVID crap,” Johnny said.

“Although I enjoyed being in business for myself and have been blessed serving our wonderful customers, I’ve discovered that I was never truly happy,” he further explained on the site he set up for the hunt.

Hunters are required to purchase a “ticket” per location, providing them clues to that specific site. Access is limited, and all ticketholders will receive clues on the same day. Sharing clues publicly or with non-ticketholders is strictly prohibited and disqualifying.

They know they’ve found the treasure point when they see the painted “X.” For added assurance, said Johnny, “We have a GPS in there so I know if it’s moved.”

Johnny’s Treasure Quest begins Aug. 1. Tickets for the first quest are available for $49, though prices vary throughout the competition.

He also said that his late father, who taught him about the jewelry business, would ultimately have approved of the stunt.

“Johnny, you’re crazy, what are you doing?” he imitated. “I love it, but you’re crazy.”