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Update: Jelly Belly Is NOT Having A Willy Wonka-Like Contest

The owners of Jelly Belly want to make one thing perfectly clear: They have nothing to do with the Willy Wonka-style golden ticket contest their founder is staging.

On Monday, David Klein — who started the gourmet jelly bean company — announced a contest in which one lucky golden ticket holder will win the keys to a candy factory — just like in the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” While it would be natural to assume the winner would receive a Jelly Belly factory, think again; Jelly Belly’s current owners point out that Klein sold his shares more than 40 years ago and hasn’t been associated with the company since. “Jelly Belly Candy Company would like to take this opportunity to clear up the misconception that it is involved with a contest that purportedly offers a candy factory as its grand prize,” a statement released by the company reads.

In the book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” candy maker Willy Wonka hands over his entire operation to a little boy selected from a pool of golden ticket winners. Now, real life is imitating art.

Jelly Belly founder David Klein has announced a golden ticket contest of his own in which one lucky winner will receive the key to a candy factory. Unlike the original story, in which tickets were hidden inside the wrappers of Wonka Bars, Klein’s tickets will be hidden “in secret locations” throughout the U.S., with at least one ticket in each state, he says. Everyone who finds one will receive $5,000 and a chance to win the big prize.

Another thing that sets Klein’s contest apart from the fictional one: Klein is charging contestants to compete. A clue that could lead to a golden ticket will set each participant back $50. “The world needs this right now,” Klein says. “We have received thousands of comments from people who say this has come at such a perfect time.”

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