Real-Life ‘Willy Wonka’ Story Plays Out as Man Finds ‘Golden Ticket’ in Indiana and Candy Maker Gives Him a Candy Factory

by Madison Miller

For those who have seen “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” or even “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” it’s impossible to not daydream about a day spent engrossed and devouring all kinds of delectable candies. Minus the threat of turning purple or being stretched out, of course.

For one person, this is a dream that is actually coming true.

Man Wins Candy Factory

There was an eccentric yearlong, nationwide scavenger hunt that went on. The Jelly Belly founder, David Klein, was the mastermind of this whole project. He decided to hide a golden ticket somewhere in the U.S. In addition, he also hid random golden necklaces for people to find.

People had to purchase a $50 ticket to be a part of the scavenger hunt. There were 35,000 people involved in the hunt for golden tickets.

The winner is Andrew Maas from Colorado. Klein posted clues throughout the journey, the last being on Memorial Day. It narrowed down the final location to either Illinois or Indiana.

According to the Kokomo Tribune, Maas ended up in Kokomo, Indiana. He figured out that the line “don’t have an instant idea” is a connection to the Beach Boys song “Kokomo.”

Maas ended up finding the golden ticket buried near Vermont Covered Bridge in Highland Park.

He ended up with that golden ticket in his hand and won a lot more than the glory of being an expert scavenger hunter. He won an entire candy factory in Florida. However, Maas doesn’t want to uproot his life in Colorado to run a candy factory. Instead, Maas will receive the factory and then Klein will buy it back from him. It’s unclear how much Maas will get for the venture.

It’s every candy lover and avid-scavenger hunter’s dream put into one. By the end of it all, Klein has given away $250,000 in prize money as well as an entire candy factory. As many people continue to suffer financially from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the timing of the hunt was perfect.

“We honestly felt like we did some good for the world, and that gave us the greatest pleasure. It was something to think about and dream about. And sometimes dreams are better than reality,” Klein said to the news outlet.

New Willy Wonka Movie

If the thought of a golden ticket search has you yearning for more Willy Wonka movies, you’re in luck. There is a prequel to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” called “Wonka” in the works. It is also going to be a musical.

As of now, Timothée Chalamet will be the interesting and mysterious Willy Wonka. It will focus on his travels around the world before building the infamous chocolate factory. Keegan-Michael Key is also set to appear in the movie, although his role is currently unknown.

Paul King is directing. The screenplay was written by both King and Simon Farnaby.