The heat was unbearable, the terrain was unforgiving. But Jon Lanenga didn’t care. He bravely adventured through Jordan and to the city of Petra, a long-standing archaeological city famous for its umpteen appearances in movies, tourism reputation and rock-cut architecture. He followed the secret instructions in the Sultan Republic deck: He snuck past the tourist area in Al Khazneh, found the hidden button on the statue, followed the staircase up to the top of the plateau and dug like his life depended on it. Soon, he heard the sound of approaching security officers, so he reached into his satchel, and…
OK, it didn’t happen anything like that. But Jon Lanenga was the first to discover the secret of the Sultan Republic deck.
Hidden in plain sight, he discovered the Treasury.
The first release window of the Sultan Treasury deck has closed: The first 2,500 have been sold. We’ll release more once every whenever-we-feel-like-it. The secret to finding where to buy it was a link to the Sultan Treasury edition — a limited edition deck that, like other rare Ellusionist decks, was printed in a run of 5,000. Lanenga kept track of the || DECIPHER || images on our Facebook page, translated it to find a secret code inside each Sultan Republic box, put that at the end of an ellusionist.com URL and found the link to buy the deck.
Lanenga works communications in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in California (one of the reasons he immediately recognized the code as coordinates). He got into magic as a kid — as he was cleaning the garage with his father one day, he found an old magic kit that his dad won at a party. He got a reprieve from cleaning to explore that kit, and took to the newly discovered art. His father, owner of a chocolate store, let him perform at factory parties.
When he joined the Air Force about eight years ago, he discovered Ellusionist. He was involved in a fundraiser we held, Tricks for Troops, to deliver magic supplies to U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan. He has performed for people around the world, including teenagers in New York and troops in Afghanistan. “It was a way to take away the stresses and worries of war and bring them to a place where magic was real,” Lanenga said. “It helped a lot and I had some great performances while waiting for the phone to call home.”
Hundreds of you figured out the Sultan’s Riddle and got a chance to snag a few of the decks from the initial sales release of 2,500. But someone had to be first. Lanenga figured it out and earned a place of honor that no one can take away.