Browne, 24, said he has been on the hunt for a Colorado Daily Rock since 2010, when he heard one was hidden outside of his office on the CU campus.
"That's when I really started paying attention," Browne said, "and then I became addicted to it."
Browne said he wakes up early to get the newspaper at 5:30 a.m. and has spent years developing strategies to help him win the prize.
This year Browne discovered a few patterns that helped him decipher the clues that lead him to a park in south Boulder near a Montessori school where he found the rock laying in front of a playground tunnel.
"I looked back at the previous clues and mapped out where every rock has been, trying to figure out a pattern," Browne said. "I discovered that last week the rock was in north Boulder, like as far north as you could go, so this week when the first clue said south I started searching parks as far south as I could find."
It wasn't until the second clue on Tuesday morning that tipped Browne off to a playground located near a school.
"After I read the clue, I knew exactly where it was," Browne said. "I went on my lunch break at 11 o'clock and I wasn't there 30 seconds before I saw it sitting behind a group of rocks."
Browne said the prize came at the perfect time, about a week before the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco.
"I already have the tickets and everything, but the vendors are expensive so now I can really enjoy it," Browne said.
But Browne said he won't spend his whole loot in California, as he will be moving into a new apartment soon.
"I have a lot of plans for painting and making it into a nice place," Browne said. "But that's the boring stuff. The music festival will be the fun stuff."