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Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Crazy, All-Night Goldman Sachs Scavenger Hunt

One Saturday evening last fall, some 180 Goldman Sachs employees assembled at a dock along the East River of Manhattan, divided into 20 teams. Standing on a platform overlooking the crowd was Mat Laibowitz, an impresario-mad-scientist-type dressed in a red t-shirt printed with the words Game Master. Laibowitz handed each team captain a white, semi-opaque plastic cube the size of a tissue box and a blue plastic bag containing the following items: a sealed pack of Wacky-Packages-brand bubble gum cards, a glossy foldout with the heading "Seating chart for Kevin Bacon's wedding," a slip of paper with a three-stanza poem, and a note that read:
Thus began Midnight Madness, a geeky, over-the-top scavenger hunt played by a group of Goldman's New York City financiers and some of their friends with expenses totaling roughly $270,000 for a single evening of play. It raised $1.4 million for charity. The game, which Laibowitz originally co-founded in 1996 with Columbia University buddy Dan Michaelson, requires teams to solve a series of mind-bending puzzles placed around New York City. Deciphering one puzzle points players to the location of the next puzzle, and so on.


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