mission: treasure

 Longford's Missing Fortune

A Cincinnati Puzzle Experience

It's like all of Cincinnati is a giant escape room with over a thousand competitors solving the clues in search of a real $25k treasure hidden in Hamilton County. 

Local university researchers have been puzzled by the clues. They need your help...

Join the Hunt

Uncover the story.

Solve the clues.

Find the $25,000 treasure.

About Mission: TreasureContact Us

This is a real treasure hunt, but the treasure backstory is a work of fiction. The Mission: Treasure team created the story and hid the treasure. The contents of the story on this page are meant to lead into the immersive experience. The characters are all fictional, and any similarity to real people is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. Mission Treasure, LLC 2020

Think you have what it takes to unravel the clues and locate the treasure? Join here! 

Transport yourself into late-19th-century Cincinnati and the world of Jeremy Longford. Beginning November 11, the immersive story will unfold, and clues will be uncovered, culminating in the ultimate weekend hunt. 

Solve the clues and piece together the mystery to reveal the location of a real hidden treasure worth $25,000.

The story and clues of Longford's Missing Fortune were created specifically for Cincinnati in this first-ever treasure hunt experience.

Join the unforgettable adventure now.

Finding the Treasure Isn't the Only Mission 
A portion of every ticket sold benefits the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Longford's diary, which is currently being restored, appears to provide important insight into the life of the successful 19th-century businessman. 

Etchings found in the papers contain a series of puzzles, drawings, and cryptic messages. Researchers have been unable to make sense of most of it and need assistance.

An old Cincinnati map was found among the papers as well. To find the treasure, hunters will need to step back into the magical electric streets of late-19th-century Cincinnati.

Participants will receive a packet just prior to the start date (11/11/2020)  that contains clues, writings, and a map that were copied from Longford's recently-discovered belongings.

How it works

Researchers will be releasing new information pertaining to the treasure's location to participants via email over three days, as they work to transcribe Longford's diary. 

Participants will need to dissect Longford's diary to get inside his head and solve his clever puzzles to find his treasure, which is believed to be hidden in Hamilton County, OH.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a real treasure hunt?

This is a real treasure hunt, created by the Mission: Treasure team. There is a real hidden treasure worth $25,000 cash. The backstory surrounding the treasure is fictionalized as part of the immersive experience.

Is the treasure really worth $25,000?

Yes, the treasure is worth $25,000 cash. There is not literal cash hidden, and the $25,000 will be paid as a reward via check to the first registered participant to find the treasure. The reward is subject to income taxes.

How hard is the treasure hunt?

It’s definitely challenging, but it’s not impossible! Note that in order to maintain full secrecy and fairness, only two people (both a part of Mission: Treasure) were involved in the creation and testing of the clues. Therefore, it is hard to say for sure exactly how difficult it is since no third party has actually solved the clues organically.

How long does the treasure hunt last?

Information and clues pertaining to the location of the treasure are released over three days beginning on the start date November 11, 2020. The hunt will continue until the first participant finds the treasure. It is difficult to determine the amount of time necessary to find the treasure, however the hunt has been intentionally designed so that all the pertinent information will have been released by the weekend (the evening of Friday, November 13). 

How far away could the treasure be?

The treasure is hidden within the boundaries of Hamilton County, OH.

Can I participate in the treasure hunt with my family and/or friends?  

Yes! You can collaborate with up to five family members / friends other than yourself. (All members of a single family household may collaborate together, even if they exceed the six person group limit. A single family household may also collaborate with up to two additional people outside of the household, such as friends or extended family members.) Only the registered participant may claim the treasure, and Mission: Treasure will only release the value of the treasure to the registered participant. Any split of the reward within a group after that is solely at the discretion of the registered participant who finds and claims the treasure. 

How do I know that I will have a fair chance at finding the treasure and that the treasure is really worth $25,000?

The Mission: Treasure treasure hunt is governed by a detailed set of Official Rules found here that ensure transparency and fairness. The full $25,000 reward for finding the treasure was set aside to be held in a Mission: Treasure account at Huntington Bank (unaffiliated) before any tickets were sold. Once the treasure is found, the identity of the person who finds it will be released in accordance with the procedures detailed in the Official Rules.

More FAQs

Local university researchers have been unable to solve the clues, and need your help...

The capsule contained Longford's diary which provides insight into the places Longford walked, events he lived, and people he loved. It sheds light on the mysteries of his disappearance, and could perhaps lead to finding the treasure.

Unfortunately, the diary sustained water damage and researchers are working to restore some of the pages. They'll be sending the transcriptions to participants, as able.

Etchings found in the capsule contain a series of puzzles, drawings, and cryptic messages. Researchers have been unable to make sense of most of it, and need assistance.

The most curious item within the capsule is a handmade puzzle with a series of numbers etched into it. The research team is having replicas of this puzzle made to send to each participant so that they can attempt to solve it.

Register for the Treasure Hunt
Terms & ConditionsOfficial RulesJOIN THE HUNTJOIN THE HUNT

(The materials pictured are similar to the introduction packet. The materials pictured do not contain actual clues.)

Can I buy the treasure hunt as a gift?

Yes! Just be sure to enter the recipient's shipping address at checkout, and respond to the email you receive after checkout and let us know to use their email address. If buying multiple, please place separate orders (one at at time).

Clues and information regarding the location of the treasure will be released over three days beginning November 11, 2020 in the form of an immersive storyline. By Friday, November 13 participants will have received all the information they need to begin physically searching for the treasure. The hunt will continue until the treasure is found.

When it takes place

(The story of Jeremy Longford is a work of fiction created for this immersive experience. The $25,000 treasure is real and hidden within Hamilton County, Ohio)

The $25,000 treasure hunt begins 11/11/2020

Long-Lost Longford Treasure May Be More Than Local Lore

Local researchers have discovered documents belonging to famed 19th-century Cincinnati industrialist Jeremy Longford. The historic items, whose significance went unnoticed for years, are believed by history experts at Ohio River University to contain vital information regarding the whereabouts of a long-forgotten treasure, supposedly hidden by Longford just prior to his disappearance. 

Jeremy Longford, born in Cincinnati in 1852, was a notable industrialist and philanthropist best known for his furniture company, which furnished many of the world's wealthiest Victorian homes. Though he lived a modest lifestyle, he is believed to have been one of the Midwest's richest businessmen during the 1800s. 

Rumors of a hidden treasure have circulated the Cincinnati area ever since Longford's mysterious disappearance in 1890. The disappearance has never been explained, and the treasure has never been found. 

The Story

The Hunt

The Creators


"Our goal is to share what we love about this city, from the buildings to the river. We want to give participants a taste of what life may have been like in Cincinnati a century and a half ago, memorializing what has been lost in time, but more importantly, appreciating what survives to this day."

- Matt & Gordon,

The Mission: Treasure Team

Mission: Treasure is the creation of Ohio natives Gordon and Matt McKnight.

The two brothers have spent the better part of the year researching, writing, and crafting clues for this treasure hunt experience inspired by Cincinnati's rich history and inviting modern-day landscape. 

Mission: Treasure's creative lead Gordon, a long-time Cincinnati resident, drew on his theatre background to develop the story behind the hunt. The character of Jeremy Longford was created to embody the important role industry played in the development of the city.

Matt, a publishing executive, is the brains behind the elaborate clue-scape of the hunt. Using his passion for puzzles and riddles, he worked carefully with his brother Gordon to make sure the clues and story melded together seamlessly to lead to the location of the treasure. 

As Seen On:

Is the treasure hunt suitable for children?

The treasure hunt is not geared towards children, but children ages 12+ could enjoy the experience of participating alongside a parent (the story/clues do not contain any inappropriate content). Please note that registered participants must be 18+ years or older, so a parent must register in order for a family to play.

Registration for the treasure hunt has ended. You will be able to purchase the clues and story materials to re-play the treasure hunt after it ends. If you would like to be notified when that is available, sign-up below.

Registration for the treasure hunt has ended. 

You will be able to purchase the clues and story materials to re-play the treasure hunt after it ends. If you would like to be notified when that is available, sign-up below.