A prize that was hidden somewhere in Maine more than two years ago has been found.
Lucky couple Alex Beaudet and Brittany Ciccketti of Pemaquid located the $20,000 prize, called Maine’s Dirigo Treasure, on Aug. 1, according to the company that set up the scavenger hunt.
The creators of the treasure hunt and the company behind the hunt, Dirigo Treasures LLC, are Newcastle residents Kurt and Kelly Stokes. Kurt, a grant accountant in the Research Service Center at the University of Southern Maine, and Kelly, director of special services for the Central Lincoln County School System, spent three years exploring and photographing locations around the state.
The game was created to celebrate the state’s 200th anniversary of statehood, according to the Stokes couple.
“What better way to celebrate Maine than to get people out of the house, out of their town and exploring parts of the state they never knew existed?” Kurt Stokes said in an interview with the Lincoln County News in April 2022, shortly after the game was launched on March 15, 2020.
Finding the Dirigo treasure involved solving a secret, a riddle and a puzzle that took the winning group 32 months to uncover. Players began their quest with a deck of cards. Each card features a unique image of iconic Maine locations. Players had to identify each image, use their instruction manual and travel to each location to find the next visual clue.
Players then had to use the location of the image, the clues and the Dirigo code within the manual to reveal the seven Dirigo stones scattered throughout the state to lead them to the hidden treasure.
According to Dirigo Treasures LLC, Beaudet and Ciccketti were only one of five groups competing that made it to the final level of the puzzle.
Beaudet is a farmer by trade, with a background in software engineering, according to a conversation between the winning team and the game designers. Ciccketti is currently a nurse.
As of last Friday, the pair have been the only group to submit the correct answer to the final puzzle to the game masters. The final location of the prize has not been revealed to allow other competitors the opportunity to solve the puzzle.