Million dollar paranormal challenge

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James Randi himself

James Randi's million dollar paranormal challenge was a prize offered by the James Randi Educational Foundation beginning in 1964 and ending in 2015. JREF has offered a one-million-dollar prize to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.

The test protocol needed to be mutually agreed upon in advance by the testers and the applicant for the prize. The experiment is done in a scientific manner as cleared with the judges. Many self-described psychics prefer to work in their own personal studios or private residences, under their own specified conditions, and present their own version of what they consider "evidence". This is not acceptable by JREF, which insists on using appropriate scientific protocols such as double blind experiments.

Originally anyone was able to apply for the challenge, but since critics of the challenge tended to dismiss it as simply a publicity stunt the terms for applying were changed. So, as of April 1st, 2007, in order to apply the applicant must be known in the media and there must be an authority of some sort who feels that the applicant should be taken seriously in their claims. Examples of the kind of applicant the challenge is now tailored for are Sylvia Browne, John Edwards, and Uri Geller. These changes were made to get rid of "insignificant" applicants, to raise media awareness of the challenge, and to satisfy its critics.

Approximately 1000 applicants have attempted to claim the prize [1] but no claim was been successful. No applicant has ever passed the preliminary test, and many do not get to the stage of agreeing on a testing protocol.


  1. [1]

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