Jonathan Newman, of Prestonsburg, found the egg in the German Bridge area Sunday morning, then found himself $500 richer when he claimed his prize Monday.
The Great Easter Egg Hunt is an annual contest run by The Times, in which a single plastic egg containing a prize-winning certificate is hidden. The paper then gives readers clues to the egg's location until it is found.
Floyd County Times Publisher Joshua Byers said he was impressed with the public's participation.
"The sheer volume of calls that we received every day from people asking 'Has the egg been found yet?' was surprising enough, let alone seeing hordes of people searching any number of areas of Floyd County for the hidden egg," he said. "It was a stressful time. I was really worried that someone would find the egg too early."
Newman, who hunted for the egg with his wife, Rebecca, originally from West Liberty, said no single clue helped him win the contest, but that adding up all of the information from several clues eventually pointed him in the right direction.
But, in the end, it took perseverance to finally locate the prize.
“I was in that area the day before and got discouraged,” Newman said. “Then I read Sunday's clue and it told me I was in the right place.”
Newman, who works for Mountain Comprehensive Care in Paintsville, said he was determined to win the contest. He first got involved in the hunt after reading the fourth clue in the contest - “That last one was tricky, but I'm not yet done. You'll find me nestled where three become one.”
Once he decided to join the search, Newman said he went to Tobacco Max in Prestonsburg to read the previous clues, then began reading each new clue to start putting the pieces together.
“I told everybody at work, ‘I'm finding that egg,'” Newman said.
Coincidentally, it was only after his wife reinterpreted the first clue he had read that he finally cracked the riddle.
“I couldn't have found it without her,” Newman said. “She was the one who figured out it was in a tree.”
Newman said he first thought that the “where three become one” in that clue referred to bodies of water. Even though that wasn't correct, it still put him in the right area, as he thought it referred to the creeks feeding Dewey Lake.
After his wife suggested that the clue might actually refer to trees growing out of the ground together, Newman said he began looking at trees. He said he found just such a configuration growing alongside Route 194. He stopped his truck for a look and saw the egg peeking through a pile of leaves.
This year marked the third year of the contest, and the third time the egg was found before all of the clues had been given out. Newman found the egg after the 11th clue. There were 12 clues in all.