Neal Dietz Strikes the Jackpot for the Second Time Finding the Rose Festival Treasure Hunt Medallion
Generous Festival Supporter Donates Back His Winning Check to the Rose Festival
Neal Dietz of Oak Grove, Oregon, read Clue #10 this morning, then located the Medallion in East Delta Park, inside some yellow tubing. Neal grew up in Southeast Portland, where he went to school with 1978 Rose Festival Queen Tina Klassy. Neal considers himself a big festival fan.
When Neal spoke to Rose Festival Treasure Hunt ‘Game Master’ Rich Jarvis, he immediately said, “I don’t need the money, Rich. But I know things are hard for you there at the festival, with furloughs and cutbacks. I’d like to donate the money back to you.” For Neal, it’s all about the fun and challenge, stretching his mind and sharing the experience with friends and family. And — of course — the Medallion! Neal appears to be starting a collection, adding a second one to his original win back in 2017. Neal hunts with a group that includes his wife Eileen and friends Sue and Melanie. The camaraderie is a big part of the appeal.
He reported that pandemic didn’t have much effect on hunting. Neal had his mask in his pocket, but was usually alone. When others approached, he’d wear his mask and maintain social distancing. He had no fear of contracting COVID-19 while outside hunting, and was extremely pleased the festival had decided to continued the Treasure Hunt in 2020 in spite of coronavirus.
The current heat wave did impact him, however. Neal says he drank three quarts of water on Monday (yesterday), and he had a lot of water with him both Sunday and today, as well. Neal surmises he spent around 20 hours in the field, not to mention the countless hours spent at home studying the clues. He once again walked ‘infinity miles’ this year as he searched.
Neal won $500 in prize money (donated back), a one night stay including dinner for two at Spirit Mountain Casino and two (2) cases of Oregon Pear San Juan Seltzer (winner must be 21 or older).