FARGO – The final clue led Nick Blonigen and Toria Thelen to the location of the last hidden coin Saturday in the Northern Plains Coin Hunt.
The Fargo couple was the first to spot the token, hidden beneath a staircase in a downtown alley, minutes after the final clue pointed the way.
An earlier clue instructing coin seekers to look in the shadow of a sports legend led them astray. Instead of looking near the fading sign of the former Stan Koska Sporting Goods store, Blonigen and Thelen were looking in nearby Island Park, thinking sports cars displayed at an auto event made that a good hunch.
An obscure second clue - don't go east from west, a reference to the coin's location just west of Bank of the West - wasn't much help, but the third and final clue sent them scrambling for the alley behind Wimmer's Jewelry and Rhombus Guys Pizza.
"I just kind of bent down," said Thelen, who felt around under a metal staircase, where she found the token.
"We knew it was in this corner," Blonigen added. "We came running here," managing to find it before others who picked up on the last clue. "There was a ton of people here. It was lucky."
How do they plan to spend the $500? They'll split the reward.
"I haven't even thought that far ahead," said Thelen, who works in human resources, minutes after finding the token. "I'll probably pay off my student loan a little bit."
Blonigen, an engineering student who also works at an engineering firm, was more inclined to be self-indulgent.
"I'll blow my half on something fun," he said.