Six Questions with Coy Lothrop: WINNER of the $50,000 Prize in the Breakfast Tea & Bourbon Armchair Treasure Hunt

armchair treasure hunt winners

Lothrop Family: Winners of BT&B treasure hunt

Congrats to the Winners of the $50,000 dollars from the Breakfast Tea & Bourbon Treasure Hunt: Coy Lothrop and Family!

It’s always wonderful and exciting for MW to introduce and learn about winners of ‘Treasure Hunts’!  They inspire us all and provide proof ‘treasures can be found!’  It’s so totally AWESOME!

In early February 2017, the Breakfast Tea & Bourbon novel, which included clues to the location of a valuable hidden treasure worth $50,000, was released!  In July, this hunt was solved, and treasure claimed, but we all had to wait until  August to learn more!  So now here is MORE!

I’m so grateful for Coy to take time out to share more about his exciting adventure with his wonderful family for us all to enjoy.  Thanks Coy!….and here are the….

Six Questions:

  • 1Q) Again CONGRATS! So happy for you! It was an exciting hunt for all who participated. Thanks, of course, goes to Pete for offering such an opportunity. I suppose I would love to start off with you just telling us a little about yourself. And was it just yourself who worked/solved the clues to discover the location of the Flute, or did others help you along the way?

Thank you so much and definitely thanks to Mr. Pete Bissonette and Learning Strategies Corporation for both their generosity and their ultimate goal to challenge minds, affect lives in a positive manner, and to generate immediate benefits through their efforts. I’m living proof of their achievements and I couldn’t be more grateful.

I’m a professor at a community college within the department of the Visual Arts. I primarily teach advertising and graphic design, but I am also a trained fine artist and a professional screenwriter. One of the benefits of being an educator is that you typically have summers off.

Now, I’m not one to lay around and watch TV during my summers. Rather, I enjoy keeping my mind busy with writing, oil painting, and seeking out adventure – my family and I like to camp, canoe, and hike. Unlike maybe some other treasure hunters pursuing the Breakfast Tea & Bourbon prize, I had the advantage of having nothing but free time to mentally plug in, search all available resources, and ultimately visit any potential locations where the treasure might be hidden – although, I only visited one location which turned out to be right!

I executed the mental part of the treasure hunt alone. Over two days, I read the book, a simple, surface read strictly for enjoyment. Then, I spent a couple late nights in seclusion to work out where I thought the treasure was hidden. Using my son as a sounding board, we thought we had the right place.

The physical part, the actual hunting portion, I enlisted my wife and daughter to the team – they have incredibly sharp eyes and notice details I can sometimes miss. Four searchers are always better than one.

I’d be remiss not to mention your own Mysterious Writings forum and Cowlazar’s YouTube series. Both of these venues were good for getting the pulse of what other treasure hunters were thinking and where they had already been.


  • 2Q) How did you hear about the Breakfast Tea & Bourbon treasure hunt? Had you worked on any other ‘armchair treasure hunts’ before this one or was this your first?

This was my first treasure hunt but it will certainly not be my last. I’ve had entirely too much fun and I really appreciate the challenges, both mental and physical, this hunt, and future hunts, afford.

I’m presently working on Murray Bailey’s Map of the Dead.

I discovered the Breakfast Tea & Bourbon treasure hunt through Mike Cowling’s, a.k.a. Cowlazars, Youtube vlog regarding armchair treasure hunts. I had been researching Forrest Fenn’s Thrill of the Chase when I had encountered Cowlazar’s channel. I really enjoyed the vlog and appreciated Mike, so I told him so in a quick email. Mike responded with his thanks and a suggestion to look into the Breakfast Tea & Bourbon book and hunt. The city of New Orleans had been a favorite solve for the hunt among many hunters, and since I’m located in East Texas, he thought it a good idea for me to get involved.

He was right, of course. Excellent idea, Mike!


  • 3Q) What did you most enjoy about the treasure hunt and book? What did you least enjoy about the treasure hunt and book?

I think it was… yeah… the WINNING part! Hah.

Comedy aside, I believe the greatest take away for me was that I was able to reconnect with my family and get us out from behind our screens and devices, and to go out in nature and do something gru-worthy. The days before, during, and after the find have been engaging, joyful, and full of good quality family time, sitting around reminiscing about the hunt and laughing at our good fortune.

I really have no complaints. The book was a fun read about living well and often, about friendships and fun times, and good food and good toasts. Seeking out the clues within the author’s chosen words and within the design of the books cover were an added bonus.

Wait, I remember a least favorite part… It’s definitely the initial 600 ft. uphill hike to the hiding spot.  (Sunset Trail, Hot Springs Arkansas)


  • 4Q) What were the most important clues or ‘aha’ moments that directed you to the final location of the prize and treasure?

The most important element of the book that helped me find the treasure was actually its clever graphic design. Having 20 years’ experience as a creative director, I knew that embossing a hardcover meant extra dollars, and extra dollars equaled ‘purpose.’ The embossed dot pattern demanded attention, it was even more awesome because it was hidden under the dust cover.

To me, it was a subtle treasure map and I used it as such. Following the exact movements of the Butterscotch Five – 80 miles here, 100 miles there – I plotted their journey in a literal since. Each dot became a location and I used Google Maps to plot each stop along the way. In the end, the journey had lead me to the vicinity of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The second ‘A-ha!’ came with the infamous “Hodaddy” and “Nada” lines. It was the confirmation clue I needed to validate the ‘treasure map’ on the cover. Pete had shared in several interviews that the person who finds the treasure would simply read the book and put two and two together. I felt that his choice of words was, in fact, a key. Taking the first two letters or each word and then adding them together, I got HOT SPRINGS. Doing the same process backwards with the Nada line gave me AT CEDAR LOT. Sure enough, Hot Spring National Park has a trail-head on Cedar Glades Road, the only one in the park.

The final ‘A-ha!” was once again a “two and two together” type experience – adding the Nephew’s Hunt in Chapter 13 to the Butterscotch Five’s hunt to uncover the prize.


  • 5Q) I have to ask, how did you feel when you found the hidden Suling? Were you without doubt it would be there and so not surprised, or were you in disbelief that YOU had actually solved correctly and found the treasure?

We knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that we were in the right spot. All the landmarks were there, all the paces matched up. When we took the final bearing with the compass and we peered out and saw the stone it indicated, we knew we’d find it there. We even voiced it aloud, “There it is.”

That said, we were completely beside ourselves when we found it. We flipped out for a few minutes. Laughed. Kissed. Called the kids. Then we secreted it away to our hotel room like spies and immediately reported in to Pete to save others having to search.


  • 6Q) Do you have any specific plans for the prize money? And do you plan on working on additional hunts?

Like anyone, we’ve spent the money a thousand times in our minds already. Hah. However, first things first, we’re paying off our financial debt – an albatross we’ve endured most of our marriage. So, finding this treasure has absolutely changed our lives for the better. Second, the money will help secure a starter car for our daughter – she’s just started driving! Finally, we’ll look to invest, shelter, and otherwise look for ways to grow the money for an even better, brighter future.

Additional hunts? You bet! If the Super Hunter isn’t excluded from treasure hunts #2 and #3, I’ll absolutely be on the hunt to solve the Missing Chapter and the Secret Chapter.



WOW!  So inspiring and Excellent!  Definitely proves treasure is out there to find by ALL if you seek it!   What a PERFECT and Treasure filled ending!

Thanks and CONGRATS- once again…..  


Best of luck with all that you seek!  Treasure the Adventure!

For those interested in learning more about Armchair Treasure Hunts, please check out the following links:

Top Ten Armchair Treasure Hunts

Treasure Hunt Summaries

Mysterious Writings is a site dedicated to the Search for Treasures, Mystery, and Adventure: Subscribe to the MW Newsletter for updates on these topics and other Exclusive Fun!


Follow MW on Social Media:

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Strawshadow says:

    Way to play Coy family.

  2. Madesquare says:

    Agreed. Nice solve, good execution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *