June 25, 2007

Volvo Treasure Hunt delayed by real-life treasure discovery


The Toyota Hybrid Tour at its Ottawa launch
The Toyota Hybrid Tour at its Ottawa launch; photo by Chris Chase. Click image to enlarge


Irvine, California – In a bizarre twist to its online Treasure Hunt contest, Volvo has announced that the retrieval of the prize has been delayed by the discovery of an actual treasure found by Odyssey Marine Exploration.

The Volvo prize, tied into the Disney movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, consists of a chest filled with US$50,000 in gold and a key to a new Volvo. The company selected Odyssey to scout locations in the Western Mediterranean and sink the chest. The winner, Alena Zvereva of Ekaterinburg, Russia, was selected in a second round of the contest after none of the finalists were able to solve the puzzle.

Plans were underway for Odyssey to take Zvereva out to retrieve the treasure when the company discovered an estimated US$500 million in coins from a deep ocean site. As the ship had been seen earlier in Spanish waters, when it sank the Volvo treasure, the company is now embroiled in a media controversy over whether it was working on shipwrecks in Spanish waters. Volvo says that Zvereva will receive the money and Volvo even if the Volvo treasure chest is not reclaimed.

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