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Chipotle to give away bitcoin and burritos, as part of effort to reach Gen Z

Chipotle (CMG) is giving away a stash of burritos and fractional amount of bitcoin — and unlike Voltswagen's name change, the company is not joking.

The Mexican food chain announced on Tuesday it plans to give away $100,000 in free burritos and $100,000 in Bitcoin (BTC-USD), to coincide with another April 1st holiday: National Burrito Day. A spokesperson confirmed that, although its timed to the notorious date, "this is not an April Fools Day event."

On Twitter, the company shared a sneak promo about the announcement. It also unfollowed everyone except the main account for Bitcoin.org and Stefan Thomas, the Founder and CEO of Coil — who famously lost track of his bitcoin login worth $387 million earlier this year.

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On Thursday, Chipotle and Thomas will launch a new interactive game called “Burritos or Bitcoin.” Each player will have ten tries to guess a six-digit code for a limited chance to win a free burrito, or up to $25,000 in bitcoin. The digital currency is currently trading just shy of $60,000.

Beyond the main prize, just 10,000 fans will win one free burrito, 50 fans will win $500 in Bitcoin and 3 fans will win $25,000 in Bitcoin.

(Courtesy: Chipotle)
(Courtesy: Chipotle)

This announcement makes the restaurant chain the first U.S. brand to offer a cryptocurrency giveaway to consumers. Similar to its collaboration with e.l.f. Beauty (ELF) or the launch of its Quesadilla for digital customers only, this is yet another example by the fast food chain to meet consumers, specifically younger consumers, where their mind — and their wallets are.

"Like many of our social activations, we are leveraging the 'Burritos or Bitcoin' game to drive culture and build brand affinity among Gen-Z," Chipotle's chief marketing officer Chris Brandt,told Yahoo Finance.

"The obsession with Bitcoin is as almost as big as burritos, so we wanted to give fans a chance to win on our biggest national “holiday” while also having Chipotle show up again in an unexpected way," he added.

Shares of Chipotle are up 122% from a year ago, while shares of Bitcoin are up 524.78% from a year ago.

Brooke DiPalma is a producer and reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma or email her at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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