10:08 AM PT -- 9/9 -- Jelly Belly is officially drawing a line in the sand between themselves and David Klein, who's offering up a candy factory as the grand prize for a Wonka-like contest.
The company says, "Due to confusion in the marketplace, 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."
JB goes on to say that the business is family owned and operated, and that Klein simply came up with the name "Jelly Belly" years ago, among other marketing ideas. He hasn't been involved with the company since at least the '80s. Take note, treasure hunters.
The guy who helped invent Jelly Belly jelly beans is going full Gene Wilder in these dark times -- promising to give one lucky person their own candy factory if they play his game.
David Klein has kicked off a Willy Wonka-esque treasure hunt that's open to anyone in these 50 states, and he's got the ultimate grand prize ... a professional shop to churn out treats.
Klein explained some of the parameters of the contest Tuesday on "TMZ Live" where he also said that whoever wins the whole enchilada -- one of his actual operating candy factories -- will also get candy-making lessons in a university setting ... plus, his own expertise in running the biz.
There's one catch ... in order to play, ya gotta pay $50 and you're automatically entered into the ultimate factory lottery. As for the hunt itself, yes, there is a "gold ticket" component involved, and if you find it in your state ... you'll win $5,000 guaranteed.
The details are probably best explained by DK himself from the site he launched just for this new venture.
As for why he's doing it, Dave says it's his way of helping people get their minds off all the turmoil in the country.
Sure, we'll take a little sugar high for now. Why not?!