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By Mary Hanbury
July 15, 2016
Getty Images/iStockphoto—Getty Images

A mysterious philanthropist has been hiding $100 bills around Salem, Ore. for the past three years. And the giver has gotten especially generous in the last few weeks, donating some $9,100 since late June, the Statesman Journal reports.

Hidden inside random grocery and household items, the so-called “Benny Bills” – nicknamed after Benjamin Franklin, the face of the $100 note – are folded up and stuffed into things like diapers and cereal packages at different stores.

To date, Benny — as the paper calls the giver — has donated more than $50,000. People have discovered free cash in 26 different stores and festivals around the city. 18 Benjamins have been found in packs of diapers and 14 in rolls of toilet paper. Benny even has a favorite store — a local Walmart where 156 of the bills have been discovered since the spring of 2013.

The benefactor, who remains anonymous, has unknowingly donated to food banks, schools and animal rescue groups. Benny has even picked up the motel tab of a homeless couple.

Read next: Where to Get Free Ice Cream for National Ice Cream Day

This isn’t the first mystery treasure hunt the West Coast has seen. Palo Alto-based real estate investor Jason Buzi donated more than $10,000 to cash scavenger hunts across California and his cash-giving project has now spread worldwide. You can follow @HiddenCash for clues on how to find some cash for yourself.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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