Bill in Lmdn

I HAVE BEEN doing this effect since 1 was a Cub-Scout. I still use the basic method I used then. Years ago 1 read about Terry Seabrookes burnt-bill approach in a Linking ¡ting, and from this I borrowed his three-envelope concept. Then, one day, while preparing the trick, 1 realized I could change the signing procedure and. with some odier subdedes, elevate this cffect to a much higher level of impossibility. The result is that this one item has generated more business for me than any trick I have ever done. I am not overstate

its impact on an audicnce. Over the years I have presented this as an opening efiect, a closcr, and frequendy as a demonstration of creative thinking in my workshops and talks. The method has fooled—and 1 hope delighted— not only diousands of lay people but also many knowledgeable magicians.

EbbLCT; Before anything is been done, a small box is handed to a woman in the audience. The performer doesrit go near it again until the trick is finished.

A number of gendemen each offer a dollar bill to the performer, and the audicnce decides which will be used. This is a simple procedure to ensure that everyone realizes it is a bill ro which the performer could not possibly have had any previous access.

The chosen bill is signed by a spectator and one of die corners with the serial number is torn off and retained by yet another spectator. Someone else inserts the bill into an unprepared envelope and seals it.


Two more ordinary envelopes arc shown, each co ntaining a piece of newsprint the same size as the bill. They arc also sealed: *

The performer mixes the three envelopes and one is chosen. The remaining two are fairly burnt. Hie selected one is opened and found to contain, not the note, as the audience is led to expect, but a bit of newspaper*

For a few moments, the performer professes failure. He then recalls die box he handed out at the beginning of the effect. The woman who has it is told to bring it forward, while the performer steps back into the audience and directs operations from there. Under his guidance the assistant opens the box and discovers a knife, some rissue and a lemon.

The lemon is sliced and opened, and inside is found a rolled-up dollar bill. This is unrolled by the assistant and seen to have one corner missing. The serial number is read our and is the same as the one on the comer previously torn from the destroyed bill. The note and corner are fitted together to prove they really match. Finally» the audience member who signed the bill verifies his signature.

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