## Thea ter of tiff Mikd

As the helper starts to leave, the performer reaches in and takes out a quarter—a memento,

Mh'lHOD: Ihe counting business is a gigantic blurt If die performer has more coins (marbles, matches, whatever) in his hand dian die odier person, he can always make three mic statements. Why is this? Assume you haw twenty coins in your hand: Someone you know is holding fewer coins. You can say; 7have the same as you plus enough lefi over to makeyours total twenty coins. 'Ifyou did this there would be little mystery. So you add the statement 'plus thrte more, and enough left ot*er in-my hand to make yours total seventeen. "Obviously, three more and seventeen soil total twenty. But this small alteration in the way vou convey precisely the same information makes your statements seem far more baffling than in fact they are. And in my presentation, I obscure the.principle even further by converting the number of coins into their dollar amount.

Two important diings arc necessary to set your mental trap. First, you must emphasize your third statement, V have the same number as you, plus three more and enough leftover in my hand to make your total exactly \$ 5.25. * Second, quarters are used because their totals result in uneven sums of dollars and cents. Were you to use silver dollars, ¿ill the figures would be round dollar amounts, like five dollars, six dollars, etc. The random-seeming sums created by quarters play an important part in throwing spectator* offthe sccnt.

If you have never *een the trick before, try it. You can experiment with playing cards, match sticks, marbles or poker chips. I lowcver, in performance always use money. It is much stronger and more difficult to follow.

The cookie can you use should contain more than a hundred quarters. There is also a gimmick. I use a plastic medicine vial or 35 mm. film canister. Into it I put \$5.25 or twenty-one quarters. Note, this amount leads to the statement "same as you, plus three more and enough left over to make \$4.50/' Of course it could as easily luve been two more and enough to make \$4,75. The actual amount you decide to use is up to you-

Cut oiFthc top of the container to the cxact height of the stack of coins you wish to use. Thi.s will aid you in resetting quickly. You needn't count the coins going into the conrainer. Simply fill it to its rim. ' Discard the original container cap and affix a thick rubber band widi epoxy glue to the bottom of the container. If you pull the rubber band up and over the top of the canister, it will hold in the coins (Figure 1).

I al so put a piccc of adhesive rape around the side of the container, and on it I write, "SAMF., PIUS THREE

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