Jackpot: Family wins Nevada Day treasure hunt | NevadaAppeal.com

Jackpot: Family wins Nevada Day treasure hunt

Jeremy Smith and his son, Xander, 6, proudly showcase the winning medallion outside of the Nevada Appeal office after discovering it in the Nevada Day Treasure Hunt.
MOLLY MOSER/NEVADA APPEAL |

Jeremy Smith and his son, Xander, 6, were determined to find the medallion Thursday evening, based on the last given clue of the Nevada Day Treasure Hunt.

Since Smith is a teacher at Eagle Valley Middle School, they only had a few hours left in the day to find it. The father and son rushed to the Comstock Trail in Virginia City, beginning at the intersection of R and Washington Streets.

“We do this hunt every year as family,” he said. “But this was the first time we walked this trail.”

The 15th annual hunt kicked off Oct. 11 with 16 clues expanding to Pershing County with a $1,000 prize. Clues reached out to Northern Nevada counties as they were posted daily on the treasure hunt’s website.

With the deadline approaching on Oct. 25, Smith’s wife and Xander’s mother, Maura, joined forces to help find the prized possession.

“We ran into a lot of families,” she said. “But most of them were looking around the high school instead of the trail nearby.”

Based on past experiences, Smith and his son found clues hidden in cracks of sidewalks and rocks.

That helped them find the winning medallion, which was squeezed in between a set of stones on the path, nearby a kiosk of the trail next to Virginia City High School.

Smith said the medallion was in close proximity of Clue 3’s location.

“Clues 12 and 13 helped us get to there,” he said. “Both clues were about walking.”

Although Smith found the medallion Thursday, he didn’t turn it into the Nevada Appeal office until Friday, after teaching class. Many treasure hunt participants and followers were debating on the Nevada Day Treasure Hunt Facebook page whether the clue was found or not, or if it was a hoax.

However, it’s still something the Smith family will enjoy being a part of for many years to come.

“We learn something new about each location every year,” Maura said. “Because of this hunt, we’ve learned so much history about Fort Churchill, Galena, Gardnerville and Lake Tahoe.”

If the kids at school ask Xander about treasure hunting, his advice would be to look in the cracks.

But when asked what his favorite part about the hunt was, he couldn’t help but to hug his father.

“I love that he goes with me,” he said.