One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge
The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge was an offer by the James Randi Educational Foundation to pay out one million U.S. dollars to anyone who could demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability. A version of the challenge was first issued in 1964. Over a thousand people applied to take it, but none had been successful. In January 2015, Randi announced that he was officially retiring and stepping down from his position with the JREF.
About One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge in brief
The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge was an offer by the James Randi Educational Foundation to pay out one million U.S. dollars to anyone who could demonstrate a supernatural or paranormal ability under agreed-upon scientific testing criteria. A version of the challenge was first issued in 1964. Over a thousand people applied to take it, but none had been successful. In January 2015, Randi announced that he was officially retiring and stepping down from his position with the JREF. In September 2015, JREF announced that their board had decided that it would convert the foundation into a grant-making foundation, and they will no longer accept applications directly from people claiming to have a paranormal power. The challenge was terminated in 2015. It was hoped that the resources freed up by not having to test obscure and possibly mentally ill claimants would then be used to challenge high-profile alleged psychics and mediums such as Sylvia Browne and John Edward with a campaign in the media. On January 4, 2008, it was announced that the prize would be discontinued on March 6, 2010, in order to free the money for other uses. In the meantime, claimants were welcome to vie for it. One of the reasons offered for its discontinuation is the unwillingness of higher-profile claimants to apply. The official challenge rules stipulated that the participant must agree, in writing, to the conditions and criteria of their test. Claims that cannot be tested experimentally are not eligible for the Challenge. Claimants were able to influence all aspects of the testing procedure and participants during the initial negotiation phase of the challenged.
However claimants were usually able to perform successfully during the open test, confirming that experimental conditions were adequate. The JREF are anti-paranormal bias and are willing to travel far from the test location to avoid the perception that he could influence the results of the test. Randi has said that few unsuccessful applicants ever seriously considered that their failure to perform might be due to the nonexistence of the power they believe they possess. For example, the Dowser test, in which the dowser attempts to locate the target substance, even though the target’s location has been revealed or using their own dowsing ability, failed to display a 100% success rate in the open tests. The Dowsers even revealed the target even though they had not had to display their ability to do so. The winner of the Challenge was announced at The Amazing Meeting 7 on July 30, 2009, and stated more information would be provided at a later date on any possible changes to the requirements and procedures. On March 8, 2011, the Jref announced that qualifications were being altered to open the challenge to more applicants. Whereas applicants were previously required to submit press clippings and a letter from an academic institution to qualify, the new rules now require applicants to present public video demonstrating their ability. On April 1, 2008,. Randi pretended to award the prize to magician Seth Raphael after participating in a test of Raphael’s “psychic abilities”.