Manchester treasure hunters work out where keys to new car are buried - then help complete stranger find them

The Mancunian duo succesfully deciphered the clues to work out where the keys were - but quickly realised it was too far away for them to head there themselves.

Two generous Mancunians managed to work out where the keys to a new car were buried in a treasure hunt, before guiding a complete stranger to the location to win the vehicle.

Alex Rawson and Danny Lane, from Stretford in Manchester, saw details of the competition where a series of clues would lead treasure hunters to a spot where the keys to a new Fiat 500 were hidden underground.

However, when they successfully deciphered the cryptic messages they realised that it was too far away for them to get the car themselves. So they rang up a stranger in the area at random and successfully guided him to the spot, where he was able to beat the competition and land himself the set of wheels for free.

What happened when Alex and Danny entered the competition?

The competition, which was run by Scrap Car Comparison, involved sending out three clues that if interpreted correctly would lead the searcher to a unique what3words location where the keys to the new Fiat 500 had been buried.

Work colleagues Alex and Danny saw the competition advertised in the weeks leading up to it and were ready to try to claim the vehicle for themselves when the clues were revealed at 9am on Tuesday 18 October.

Danny Lane and Alex Rawson

However, when they cracked the code they realised the location was in Henley-in-Arden in Warwickshire, some 100 miles south of Manchester. The kind-hearted duo, though, then decided that rather than giving up they would find someone living locally and give them a chance to win the vehicle by giving them instructions over the phone.

The lucky person was 40-year-old roofer Simon Muirhead, from Bearley in Warwickshire, who was stunned to find an unknown number ringing him and then to be told by two strangers that they could guide him to the keys to a brand new car. Fortunately he did not dismiss the call as a hoax and Alex and Danny were able to lead him to the spot where he beat more than 3,000 other people who had taken part in the treasure hunt to get the keys to the hybrid vehicle. Competition to get hands on the Fiat was fierce, with people travelling from as far afield as Sheffield, Leicester and Birmingham to try to dig up the keys.

What did Alex and Simon all say about the treasure hunt?

Alex, 51, said: “We looked at the location on Google Maps and saw there was a business nearby called RM Roofing. As we work for a company called RM Education ourselves, this felt like fate, so we called the number on their website and got through to Simon.

“After convincing him we weren’t prank callers and texting over the details on the Scrap Car Comparison website, we stayed on the phone while he made his way to the nearby location of the keys, and tried to help him find exactly where they were.

“The moment he found them, we were celebrating together. It felt so good to spread some good fortune and play a part in making someone’s day. We’re over the moon to have helped someone get a brand-new car!”

Treasure hunt winner Simon with his new car

Simon said: “I can’t quite believe it. I was just about to leave for work and I had a call from an unknown number, then the next thing I know they’re talking me through how to find the keys to a brand-new car. I almost lost out on it as other people were turning up to try and find them, but I’m so pleased I dug them up before anyone else.

“My partner has a car that’s around a decade old, and has been concerned about a noise it makes, which could have led to a costly repair or two, but now we’ve got the perfect replacement. When I woke up that morning, I never thought I would be getting a car for free, it’s been incredible to actually win something!”

What did the competition organisers say?

Dan Gick, managing director at Scrap Car Comparison, said:“As we have seen that people who have to scrap their cars are having an increasingly difficult time of purchasing a new one, we wanted to spread some joy and give anyone the chance to get a new one for absolutely free.

What we didn’t expect, was that the hunt for the keys itself would help to show that even in tumultuous times, there’s still a lot of goodwill in the country. It was amazing to learn about the incredibly kind act from Alex and Danny, and hope that thanks to them, Simon (or his partner!) are able to enjoy the new car, and worry a lot less about having to repair it any time soon.”