$17,000 in gold treasure is up for grabs on this British beach


Small town festivals offer all sorts of prizes, like gigantic stuffed animals you'll probably just throw away, or if you're really lucky, reverse raffle jackpots that'll net you maybe a couple hundred bucks.

But at this art fest in the British town of Folkestone, Kent, lucky attendees can win actual gold treasure. And not those foil-covered chocolate coins.

Berlin-based artist Michael Sailstorfer planted 30 bars of genuine, 24-carat gold in the sand of Folkestone's Outer Harbour Beach, to the total value of $17,000 (or 10,000 pounds) for his submission to the town's triennial art fest -- apparently to fulfill a creative desire "to make art that comes less from the head and more from the stomach".

Whatever: Free money!

Of course, hundreds of gold diggers (actual gold diggers) have shown up on the Folkestone shore to find their treasure; one bar's worth approximately $533, according to The Huffington Post. And it's totally finders keepers...

But as Lewis Biggs, one of the festival's curators, told the BBC, it's still pretty hard luck. "There are 30 gold bars buried there, along with a lot of washers, so if you bring your metal detector you will find a lot of washers before you find any gold... We will never know if the gold has been found or not".

Well, gold bars actually look a lot different from steel washers. But OK.

The bars are also scattered over a wide area on the bay, while the troublesome tide only lets diggers search at low tide after 4pm, with an hour before closing.

If you fancy your hand at striking gold, Sailstorfer's installation is up through Nov. 2.

Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. She wishes she’d make a quick trip to Folkestone when she was in the UK last week. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.