Announcing the 2012 Pre-Dig Gig

We are pleased to announce the 14th Annual Pre-Dig Gig. After several years of being around the city of Saint Paul, the pre-dig is moving back downtown.

American Burger Bar
Saturday, January 21, 2012
354 Wabasha Street North
Saint Paul, MN 55102-1418
(651) 222-2123
Time: 6pm - close

From Barefoot Guy:

What was that? That would be the 2011 medallion hunt zipping by you.

Once again, congratulations are in order from the Cooler Crew to the finders of the 2011 Winter Carnival Treasure Hunt. Veteran medallion hunting mother/daughter pair, Mary and Molly Hermes, along with Molly's boyfriend Dan Murphy uncovered the puck in the area of the old ski jump at Battle Creek Park at about 2:30 this morning after a mere seven clues. In a hunt that had many of the masses in Como Park until the release of clue 7, with its Battle Creek anagram, this years finders managed to line everything up correctly to come up with the full $10,000 prize!

In telling their tale, the finders created a sad story for another hunter somewhere. After searching within a cavern-like root structure from an under-eroded tree, a tree which had already had its snow removed by a previous hunter, Molly stated it was literally sitting on top of the snow as she sat down next to it.  Presumably that root system was where the puck was planted, and in an effort to hurriedly clear the snow, some other hunter inadvertently discarded the puck, and the prize. Incidentally, that person's story is in our Wall of Shame.

Let this be a lesson to all of us for next year. Don't ever give up. Don't look at a potential hiding spot and discard it without checking. And finally, don't just toss the snow anywhere because you may just be tossing out the baby with the bath water as they say.

As I write this, without the benefit of having the official explanations, or the last five clues, I'm also editorializing the clues for this site. For some of them, I'll have to wait until the official list comes out from the paper. But for others, man, for the first time in a long time the clue writer gave us a really good set of clues, just the way we like 'em. I just hope the explanations don't go and ruin the look.

Congratulations to Mary, Molly, and Dan!

2011 Allison Wonderland Mock Hunt Announcement

From Allison Wonderland:

There was something distinctly unsatisfying with this hunt in the end. Consequently we're going to do something a bit different with the Mock Hunt this year. Instead of doing it a month later, we're going to kick it off at the Rehash Bash next Sunday the 6th. The first clue will come out at the event. After that the clues will come out at 7pm. There will be one per day. They will be posted on the Allison Wonderland Yahoo group (it shows up in the lower left side of this site), on the Cooler Crew board at, and on the Pioneer Press' board. It will be in a park in St. Paul. There are two ways to participate. One, you can be a registered hunter for $10. If you win, you get all the money collected or $200, whichever is more. Two, you can be an unregistered hunter for free. If you are unregistered and you win, you get a flat $100 and the rest of the money will go towards another contest.

If you're not planning to be at the Rehash Bash, you can still register by sending me the money via Paypal to this email address or send me an email and I'll give you an address to send the check to.

I expect we'll get a big turnout this year so there should be some good competition.

Follow the mock hunt clues here


14th Annual Rehash Bash Invitation

Although the 2011 hunt has come to a close all too soon, the 2011 Rehash Bash has been confirmed. Come join us in our annual picnic as we commisserate the finding of the medallion. Once again we will be in the building at Newell Park from 11:30am to 2:30pm, Sunday, February 6, 2011. As always its a potluck, so bring a dish to share! There is a cost to rent the facility, so donations to cover that cost will be accepted. Since the Super Bowl is later on in the day, this shouldn't pose a problem for anyone's parties.

Why the Puck Won't Be Found at the Fairgrounds

"Read the daily clues to search for the Pioneer Press medallion hidden on public land in Ramsey County." Its been apart of the treasure hunt rules in one way shape or form for as long as old Joe Medallion can remember. Granted old Joe has only been paying attention to the hunt since about 1990 or so, and has really been active in it since Conway in 1999. But in all those years, the puck has been on public land in Ramsey County. In 1979, in fact, the medallion made its one and only venture out of the county, placed in Marthaler Park in West Saint Paul. Joe can only assume that Ramsey County was not a part of the rules in those days, since the throngs of irate hunters descending on the Pioneer Press building would have made the Vulcan's overthrow of Boreas look like a flick of a Bic. Sure, every year some clown posits that its in Powerhorn or Theo Wirth Parks. We can only assume that these posts are in jest, with those two being in Minneapolis, a distinctly un-Ramsey County location.

Then there's the Fairgrounds. In recent years they've been off limits, at least in name, but that wasn't always the case, with Ma Press even hiding the puck there in both 1953 for the second hunt of the year and again in 1967. Trying to dig there today though will get you a stern talking to by the State Fair Police, followed by an escort off the grounds. But yet they're the "State" Fairgrounds. Aren't they public land in Ramsey County? According to legend the grounds are currently private property. This discussion came up this evening in the Cooler Crew Discussion Boards, and prompted ol' Joe to do some digging around.

Now Unveiling the 2011 Annual Cooler Crew Button

Thanks to *MOM* and Terry for putting together this year's commemorative button. It will be available at the Pre-Dig at Yarusso's, and from Coolerheads during the hunt.

2011 Cooler Crew button

The Cooler Crew is Pleased to Present the 13th Annual Pre-Dig Gig

The Cooler Crew is pleased to announce the 13th Annual, 2011 Winter Carnival Treasure Hunt Pre-Dig Gig. The Pre-Dig Gig will be held this year at Yarusso Brothers' Italian Restaurant. Yarusso's will be providing a buffet dinner, with the following costs: $5 for any treasure hunter group button (including, but not limited to, Cooler Crew Buttons), $8 with a Winter Carnival Button, or $10 with no button. Buttons of all sorts will be available for sale on site the night of the event, so there's no excuse for paying more than $8 to eat.

The Treasure Hunt is Right Around the Corner

As the holidays arrive and 2010 comes to a close, some of us are reminded that the 2011 Treasure Hunt is just around the corner. Planning for the 2011 Pre-Dig Gig is already in the works. Stay tuned here for information about that and other Cooler Crew gatherings during and after the hunt. Rumor has it that the pre-dig is going to become an official Winter Carnival event this year.

In addition to joining us on our discussion boards, you may also want to join us on our Facebook group.

Also, you may have noticed that the non-holiday logo has been changed:

New Logo

Thanks go to to Big G for designing it a few years back. We think its a more modern look on a classic theme, and hope you do too.


Cooler Crew -- A History

During the 1990's, the St Paul Pioneer Press opened online discussion forums. These forums were called Water Coolers. The forums had discussion topics related to sports, politics, news, and current events. Each year, the Pioneer Planet — the online section of the Pioneer Press — opened a discussion forum as a media for hunters to discuss the clues for the Winter Carnival Medallion Hunt.

During the earlier years, one might find a few hundred posts during the hunt. As more hunters had computers, those numbers jumped. From 1997 to 1998, the number of posts increased from the hundreds to the 5-digit thousands. It was during the 1998 hunt the Cooler Crew was born.

The community spirit and teamwork displayed in the Pioneer Press Medallion Hunt thread was inspiring. The group of hunters found themselves at the end of a hunt not wanting to let go of new friendships and the camaraderie found on the Water Cooler board. The idea emerged to do what anyone would do in the middle of winter in Minnesota. A picnic in Cherokee was planned - the first Rehash Bash!

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