Scavenger Hunt: Earn $40,000 by finding the military’s QR codes

Ready for a giant scavenger hunt with a giant pot of cash at the end? You can win up to $40,000 if you’re the first to find the U.S. military’s QR codes hidden across the country.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency developed the “DARPA CLIQR Quest” as a real-life game to simulate how the public can find essential resources during national emergencies. The QR codes represent vital resources that people might need in an emergency, such as water, food, gas, generators, batteries, radios, vehicles, lights, and medicine.

And don’t worry, just because these are placed by the military doesn’t mean they expect you to have military-grade skills to get to the codes. No climbing mountains or scaling bridges required. The codes are placed in easily visible and accessible locations. The codes have a small DARPA logo and the tagline “Start Your Quest for $40,000″.

The contest runs for only 2 weeks and started on February 23rd. Because of the massive scope of the hunt it is unlikely that one person could find them all themselves, so creating teams in regions across the country is the best way to go. DARPA is particularly curious to see how people utilize social networks to get the job done.

You can find people on Twitter using the hashtag #cliqrquest to share QR codes and organize websites and strategies. In addition to being fun and challenging and offering a fantastic sum of money, it might also be great practice for the zombie apocalypse or some other national disaster.

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