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Today is

The Finale - August 21

The Southie Boys, The Geniuses and the Air Force are battling for the treasure...who will get the treasure?

We review how the three teams got to where we are now. We start in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at a Bed and Breakfast. Everyone is anxious and packing. Everyone wants to win. Everyone recalls their experience and their favorite moments. They are all nervous.

Laird calls them and tells them, "The Endgame starts now. You have the Map, Compass, a Lighthouse Box, a Medallion, a key and a double cryptex. The code to open the cryptex is in the 7th Artifact. You have to head to the Library of Congress in your Toyota Tundras." They also CANNOT use their laptops at all. Everyone leaves.

The Air Force is trying to tie everything together. Southies are first to the Library. The next clue states they have to find one of three books in the biggest library in the world. There are 530 miles of books and 29,000,000 volumes. They have to find either "Poltroons & Patriots", "Official Histories" or "The American Flag: Of Stars and Stripes." When you find the books, you will find the 7th Artifact. "The book will cover the 7th Artifact." The Southies argue how to do it. "Why do they put 3 blockheads in a library?"

Geniuses are 2nd to the library and are blown away by the LOC. Air Force are last. Southies follow Air Force into the Main Card Catalog. Air Force finds the location of one of the titles and they are the first to find the 7th Artifact, which is a leather bound volume on "The Star Spangled Banner". It was on top of the book location. Laird tells them(and it is illustrated through clips) that the key has been in front of you the entire time. They read the book and realize it's a travelogue of where they have been in the United States and Europe. They realize that they have to print the last page as a map in the Old Printing Press at the LOC. The Southies are frustrated.

Air Force find the printing press and a manual on how to use it. All the Artifacts fit into the printing mold. The Geniuses are the 2nd team to find the leather bound book and quickly figure out that they have to print the map. Southies are still frustrated and the Air Force Team takes its time to make sure they get it right for they have one shot. Laird tells them they have printed a map of the "Battle of Baltimore" from the War of 1812. They realize that have to go Fort Mchenry and take a boat to the Francis Scott Key Truce Ship. They leave as the Southies fight about quitting. The Geniuses are 2nd to print the map. The Southies go back to searching and finally find the 3rd volume.

Air Force are lost and stop at a firehouse for direction. Southies are the last to leave. The Firemen tell the Air Force Team that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner on the Truce Ship. This stop puts the Geniuses in first, and the Air Force in 2nd. Geniuses are 1st at the Fort Mchenry Docks in Baltimore Harbor. They go with Captain Rich on a boat. The Geniuses can taste victory and have to keep their eyes peeled. Charles tells of the history of the Star Spangled Banner and the War of 1812. Air Force gets there 2nd. Southies are last.

Geniuses find the truce ship first and eventually find a way down. They see a glass pane of the map. They lift it and take one of three boxes which contains a star coin with a map. "The Answer is not here, but is right in front of you." They have to find the Lazaretto Battery which was a line of defense from the British warships. "The Treasure is waiting there. What they don't see is a huge building with KEY INDUSTRIES on it and an American Flag. Air Force is 2nd to the ship and the clue. The Geniuses are searching but don't find the clue. Southies are last to the docks. The Geniuses figure the clue out and slap themselves for not finding it sooner. They are first to the Key Buliding site.

Laird calls and tells them they have to seek out the hidden chamber which holds the treasure. They have to solve the cryptex and it will point the way to the treasure. "Only one team will get the gold." Geniuses are inside the building and go up to the top of the buliding..."They feel close." Southies are 3rd to the Truce ship and they find the clue. The Geniuses are lost in the maze of pipes and darkness. "What are we missing?" They look at a pipe and find a staircase going down into a secret door. But they dont want to put the star coin in the slot. The Air Force are 2nd. The Geniuses eventually slip the coin in the slot, a latch opens and are in the secret chamber! They haven't gotten the treasure yet...they have to find the 5 letter key to the cryptex which points the way to it. There are writings and glyphs all over it.

Outside is a sign which says " I seek the reef'/ Filing with Anacron" which changes into "The key is Free/Genworth Financial". The Southies are 3rd. Air Force are 2nd...trying to find the entrance....the Southies are on their heels. Back at the chamber...the Geniuses are figuring out the cryptex as the hunt continues...

In Part II...The Geniuses have been in the chamber for almost 2 hours. Francis is frustrated that they are "so close". They have tried every 5 letter code possible. Southies find the staircase and the door. Air Force and Southies reunite. Charles is pissed that they hear voices on the outside. The Geniuses can't believe that a 2 and 1/2 hour lead is gone. Air Force says the Geniuses look beaten with a stick. Everyone is trying to get the code. Southies/AF have been in 2 Hours and 19 minutes. Geniuses have been there for 5 hours and 3 minutes. Everyone struggles and sleeps until Francis figures out the five letter code in his sleep...FSKEY(for Francis Scott Key--The Key has been in front of you all along)and the cryptex opens...Francis jumps to his feet and sees a metallic arrow and the Geniuses spin the arrow in the stone. It points the way to a star. Francis punches the star stone and the Treasure Room door opens! Laird tells them the Gold is theirs! Sam says that he learned a lot about himself. Charles said this is like a person saying "Here are a bunch of Dreams...Go Live them." Laird tells the other teams that the treasure slipped through their fingers. Everyone hugs, but the Southies wanted to lose first...not this close. Geniuses are like brothers now.

We then switch LIVE to Washington DC. We see Laird...and the rest of his body...re introducing the 10 teams, last being the Geniuses. Laird interviews them about their narrow escapes including the one with the double cryptex...but they don't know what the treasure is worth. We will find out later...but first we see the Genworth Financial Treasure Challenge. 10 players have won $10,000...one more will win $100,000. They are:

Jeff, a banker from Baltimore, MD
John, an anesthesiologist from Eugene, OR
Rita, a paraeducator from Lakewood, CO
Karla, an accountant from Salt Lake City, UT
Marissa, a Stay at Home Mother from Also Viejo, CA
Catherine, a Reading Teacher from Newport News, VA
Gabe, a Loan Office from Pleasant Grove, AZ
Luann, a registered nurse from Watertown, CT
Scott, an Environmental Brands person, from Branda, MS who is doing it for his 6 mo old daughter
Helen, a teacher from Chaute, KS

Laird is standing in front of the first cluse. They have to find the original castle that houses the original Star Spangled Banner. The Flagpole on top will hold the code to the next clue. They have to open a lockbox and 5 will be eliminated. The key to the lockbox is 5013 for 50 stars/13 stripes. Scott is 1st, Luann 2nd, Karla 3rd, John 4th and Helen 5th. The box includes a key and a clue which says the "Statue of Joseph Henry shows the way". They have to head to the National Archives buliding.

Back at the live finale, Brooke from the Air Force is pregnant. We review the journey through scenes and the EX-CIA was literally 2 seconds out of the final hunt. They had to review the time code from the producers. They thought they were that close. The Grad Students best memory was just getting off the USS Jefferson and finished the challenge, because one member had a fear of water and they were vomiting all over the place. Keith Brown said that swimming in 4 weeks of water in no way prepared you for the waves off of Hawaii.

Back to the online challenge, the lockbox is opened to find a stencil to the Old Post Office Building. Scott is first, Karla is 2nd and Luann is 3rd...Helen and John are out...In the old office tower...There is a stand which matches the stencil and X marks the spot to the National Building Museum. The first to find the plaque at the Museum will win the $100,000.

At the live finale, Brad Fogal didnt think he played the game "ruthlessly" but competitively. He should have been more sensitive to the other teams as a pastor. Southies hated the canoe trip, "and they heard a screaming 2 yr old"--pointing to Katie Fogal. The Fogal apologize to the Southies. The Air Force love the Fogals, and the Fogals actually gave up their spot to the Air Force in London. The Wild Hanlons, according to them, "fogaled themselves". And we see some of the best and worst moments of the Hanlons's trip.

The trip changed the EX-CIA's life as one member quit their job. The Young Professionals trust their instincts more. And the Miss USA team shattered stereotypes of pageant girls, but they wished the game was a little more fairer physically.

The final part of the online challenge shows Scott and Karla battling for the plaque and Scott gets the plaque and the $100,000. He calls his wife and we see him and his wife and 6 mo old daughter next to Buzz Richmond of Genworth Financial. We review the night of the chamber from 10PM when the Geniuses first came in till 8AM where Francis opens the chamber...and Laird after a bit of stalling tells that Frances, Sam and Charles are worth $3,000,000! The gold was worth $1,000,000 a piece. And the teams hug and we end the hunt. I am Jason Block, wishing you good hunting.

 

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