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Melanie Thomas Wins 400 Gold Coins in the Jamestown 400 Treasure Hunt's Exciting Finish

Contact: Wesley Strackbein, 210-340-5250, ext. 222

JAMESTOWN, Virginia, June 25 /Christian Newswire/ -- After more than eight months of sleuthing, code-breaking, and intense study of American history on the part of thousands, nineteen-year-old Melanie Thomas of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, emerged as the winner of the Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt. As the winner, she earned herself a cache of 400 gold coins, as well as the title "The Fifth Trustee," a moniker which refers to her duty to encourage the defense of America's providential history.

The Jamestown 400 was launched by Vision Forum last October as an engaging way for Americans on the 400th anniversary of the birth of the American people to learn the providence of God in our nation's history by cracking a mystery which required participants to study numerous historical primary source documents of our founding era, decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs, learn codes from the American War for Independence, and even know a little Cherokee Indian.

"The Jamestown 400, was a one-of-a-kind national treasure hunt which took sleuths through an exciting journey of America's early history," explained Doug Phillips, founder of Vision Forum and the Jamestown 400. "Our goal with the Jamestown 400 treasure hunt was to help educate and inspire Americans by finding the real gold -- the riches of our nation's godly heritage. We wanted to motivate Christians to be grateful to the Lord for his many blessings on this nation. And we wanted people to have fun unlocking the mystery to some buried treasure."

"Congratulations to Melanie Thomas for persevering to the end," remarked Phillips. "We couldn't have asked for a more gracious or articulate winner -- the Fifth Trustee of a treasure-trove of America's providential history."

Phase One of the Jamestown 400 started with Vision Forum's 2007 Catalog, leading those who broke the code to a myriad of secret websites where the hunt expanded. Phase Two of the hunt was an exclusively online journey that ended May 15, with the first hundred to solve the mystery eligible to participate in Phase Three to search for the actual buried treasure in Virginia's historic triangle. Melanie Thomas was among those in the final hundred who journeyed to Jamestown for the physical hunt. She and two other final contestants unearthed three separate keys on the final day of hunt -- with Melanie's opening the long-sought-after treasure chest.

In an official statement, the Thomas family commented: "We saw the hand of God's Providence during the entire week of the hunt from the way questions were answered at various locations to the selection of the final key....The physical hunt related in many ways to the day to day pilgrim's progress of life as we journey with God by faith to apprehend His promises. 'I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.' The hunt was difficult and trying, but very rewarding and fun. We were determined to 'consider it joy' no matter what new challenge was encountered."

The Jamestown 400 websites collectively registered close to a million hits as participants from all fifty states actively joined in the hunt.

"We received thousands of phone calls and hundreds of thousands of hits to our websites from those taking part in the Jamestown 400," noted Phillips. "The public's response to the hunt was unbelievable. In Virginia alone, we have 'agents" from 148 different cities who actively sought to solve the mystery."

"It is our prayer that the greatest treasure that our sleuths came away with was a wealth of understanding of America's God-blessed foundations -- for this is a legacy that will not fade and can be passed down for generations."

To learn more about the Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt, click here.

To interview Doug Phillips regarding his vision for the Jamestown 400: Our National Treasure Hunt, contact Wesley Strackbein by e-mail at press@visionforum.org or by phone at (210) 340-5250, ext. 222.