In an extended Twitter post, Jason Buzi identified himself as one of the people behind the HiddenCash concept, which began in San Francisco in May when clues were posted online to lead people to envelopes of cash hidden around the city.
The initially anonymous @HiddenCash Twitter account already has more than half a million Twitter followers and the giveaways have spread to cities throughout California and are headed to Chicago, Las Vegas and other major cities in the coming weeks.
Groups of people have often gathered to try to find the cash, which usually is about $100 per envelope, and the media had been digging to find the person behind the mysterious money.
Buzi said he was "outed" by the TV show "Inside Edition" last week and has decided to come out as one of the main creators of HiddenCash despite his intentions of keeping the project anonymous.
In the post he said, "This is not about money. It has always been about a fun way to bring people together and give back, and put smiles on people's faces. Nothing more, nothing less."
He said he is part of a small group of friends who came up with the idea over dinner in San Francisco just a few weeks ago while brainstorming ways "to do a fun activity that would bring people together for a good time. The idea was to give back to the community. After several ideas were dismissed as being too complex, the idea for Hidden Cash was born."
He added, "This was never a business idea or a promotion."
On Buzi's personal website, he describes himself as a real estate investor and developer in the Bay Area.
He keeps a travel blog and says he "likes to help those who are less fortunate."
He lists volunteer efforts including helping refugee families, tutoring in East Palo Alto, building libraries in Africa and teaching English in Taiwan.
He calls himself "an avid entrepreneur" who operated an online diamond business, co-opened a car dealership at the age of 19 and co-founded a "smartwatch" venture as some of his professional accomplishments.
In today's Twitter post he wrote, "There is a joy and satisfaction I have gotten from @Hiddencash, that real estate could never fulfill. To have a positive impact on so many lives, to hear back from so many of our supporters -- how it brightened their day, how it inspired them -- has just been moving and gratifying on a very deep level."