June 28, 2013 at 7:22 AM ET
Millionaire Forrest Fenn announced a new clue on TODAY on Friday for eager seekers of the gold and precious jewels he’s hidden in the West:
"The treasure is not hidden in Idaho or Utah."
NBC's Janet Shamlian asked if Colorado could be ruled out along with Idaho and Utah on Friday, and the millionaire from New Mexico said no.
While the treasure remains unclaimed, it has been very close to being discovered. "Some of the searchers have been within 500 feet,'' Fenn said Friday.
Fenn has exclusively revealed three previous clues on TODAY that have tantalized treasure-seekers. They are as follows:
The scramble for the hidden treasure began in February, when Fenn, 82, announced he had hidden a chest filled with millions of dollars in gold coins, diamonds, emeralds and other gems. He believes Americans spend too much time watching TV and playing video games, so he wants the treasure hunt to serve as an impetus to get off the couch and put down the controller.
In 1988, Fenn was diagnosed with kidney cancer and began to ponder his legacy. That prompted him to write "The Thrill of the Chase,'' a self-published autobiography that contains an unusual map to the 40-plus-pound treasure chest and a poem with nine clues in it such as, "Begin it where warm waters halt, and take it in the canyon down, not far, but too far to walk."
A Vietnam War veteran who made millions as an antiquities dealer, Fenn hopes to leave a legacy that involves families getting outdoors and enjoying the thrill of the hunt for his treasure. His own love for chasing antiquities began when he was 9 years old and found a Native American arrowhead near his home in Temple, Texas.