NATIONWIDE — David Klein, the founder of Jelly Belly, is playing the role of a real-life Willy Wonka, launching a gold ticket contest to give away one of his candy factories.
Entering this contest will cost more than the price of a Wonka Bar, though. Contestants must pay $49.98 for a clue about where the gold ticket – which actually looks like a military dog tag – is hidden in their respective states.
There is one gold ticket hidden in each state, and up to 1,000 people per state can play. Whoever finds a gold ticket wins $5,000.
The state winners will then be entered into the “Ultimate Treasure Hunt,” in which the grand prize is a key to a candy factory in Florida.
Klein sold his stake in Jelly Belly in 1980 and now runs Spectrum Confections, which makes CBD-infused jelly beans, and Candyman Kitchens, whose products include edible sand art and “Crime Scene Candy Blood and Blood Clots.” (Spectrum Confections is not affiliated with Spectrum Networks)
He has not said exactly where in Florida the factory that is up for grabs is located.
The winner will be awarded full ownership of the building – sans the Oompa-Loompas – and be enrolled in a candy-making course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, CNN reported. The winner can start his or her own candy company, and Klein is offering to give advice, according to the network.
Not surprisingly, Klein said the idea was inspired by “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder that was adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Klein said he’s thought about giving away a factory since the 1970s.
"It's on my bucket list," he told CNN. "Now we are finally doing it, and we're hoping to bring some joy into the world right now."