Kalama resident Kristina Russell and her 18-year-old nephew Ryan Wilson have searched for the TDN Easter Egg most years since 2009.
On Tuesday morning, they found the blue and green plastic egg in a rotten stump at Kress Lake, which is located just off Interstate 5 north of Kalama, and collected the $500 prize at TDN in Longview.
The ninth clue, released Saturday, said “If Delbert were here, he probably would have thrown me away.” Russell said she knew then that it must be at Delbert Wasson’s sign at Kress Lake because he was known to clean up the area around it. Her aunt was married to Wasson, she said.
After another clue that “Sticks and stones may break bones, but stumps will always trip you,” the pair spent three days searching the undergrowth around the sign.
“It was our third time out there, but this time we just dug deeper and there it was. I thought it was trash at first,” Russell said with a laugh.
They said they plan to split the reward evenly. Wilson has a specific way he plans to spend it: “gas money.”
Neither have ever found the prize before.
Russell said she first started hunting for the TDN egg a decade ago with her dad. He died in 2017 from cancer, but Russell said he was with them in spirit.
“I summoned him down to me and I said, ‘Today’s the day.’ ”