Sandra Elliott has been close before, but Monday she was the winner.
Elliott, an unemployed Rockingham woman, was the one to find the Golden Egg in a contest sponsored by the Richmond County Daily Journal and win $500 in cash.
She found it at a compound used by Richmond County near the Rockingham/Hamlet Airport.
She’s no stranger to the contest, in which clues are printed twice a week in the Daily Journal about where a gold-colored plastic egg is hidden somewhere in Richmond County.
“I’ve tried every time the newspaper has done the contest,” Elliott said Tuesday. “Last time if I had gotten the newspaper quicker I would have been down there and gotten it. I figured it was out near the old cat shelter.”
She was familiar with the area when the egg was hidden this year.
“I worked for the county for 12 years, and I worked for aging services a couple of years,” she said.
The first six clues were:
1. Remember last year when the egg was found fast? We’ve hidden it better so the contest will last
2. We visited Old MacDonald and checked his chicken coup. The Golden Egg was not there, just some chicken poop.
3. We’ve hid gold to the north and we’ve hid gold to the west, but this time around the other direction is best.
4. When you leave downtown Rockingham you shouldn’t go to the east. But go another direction and you can claim the Golden Egg feast.
5. Key West is more than 870 miles away. Turn off of the road and you may find the Golden Egg today. U.S. 1 ends at Key West.
6. There are churches all along the route and places for kids to play. But stay out of cemeteries, because hiding there is not our way.
The early clues had Elliott looking near Everett Lake.
“I went there first, because the clues said it was in the south side of the county, and then there was something about U.S. 1. I knew U.S. 1 went to Florida, and since the Florida Keys have water around them, I thought of Everett Lake. I must have looked down there for an hour.”
She said she didn’t even need the sixth clue, but it would have made finding the egg even easier. It mentions churches, a playground and a cemetery.
“I knew if you turned left on Mizpah Road, there are four churches, one school and two cemeteries. Since I worked for the county for 14 years, I knew the county owned property down there at the maintenance garage. So therefore I knew to turn right on Stokes Road, left on James Road until it dead ends.”
“So I got a stick and started poking around the leaves and down the hill on the left, and there is a slight incline and I found it.”
“I really thought I had the egg hidden better this time,” said Daily Journal publisher Rick Bacon. “I may have to bury the Golden Seashell this summer.”
Last summer the Daily Journal sponsored a similar contest that involved a hidden golden conch shell.
As for Elliott, she plans on using the $500 in cash to pay bills.
The remaining clues (and what they mean) would have been.
7. The ‘Watch Tower’ will point you toward the Egg. Finding it is your mission. Stay on the road and you’ll head toward gold until you make the Transition. (The refers to Mizpah (“watch-tower; the look-out”) the road you take off U.S. 1.)
8. There’s a Wall to lead you to the Egg, the China one was great. Be Merry, but hurry on your way, before you are too late. (Refers to Mary Wall Road.)
9. You’ve searched the road from the bottom to the top. All we can say is don’t give up, keep searching until you drop. (You have to turn off the top of Mary Wall Road.)
10. Now you must stop and make some turns, we hope that you’re not bored. When you’re close to the egg you might just hear a touchdown being scored. (James Hand Road is close to the airport where you could hear a plane touch down.)
11. You’re closing in on the Golden Egg. We think that that’s just grand. All of us, and our friend James, will stand and give you a hand. (Refers to James Hand Road.)
12. The three red signs say you must stop, but to get the gold egg, you’ll have to hop. (The reference is to the signs showing the end of the road before you turn into the county impound lot.)
For those who didn’t win, there is will be a second chance drawing for $100. Details will be in an ad in Saturday’s newspaper. All entries received by April 8 will be included in a drawing to be held April 9.
Peter Williams can reached at 997-3111 Ext. 18 or by e-mail at email@example.com.