Unclaimed prizes for paranormal events

After establishing procedures and measures of success agreed upon beforehand between the challengers and the claimants, a challenge is usually divided into two steps, the first being a “preliminary test” or “pre-test”, where claimants can show their purported abilities under controlled conditions before a small audience, before being admitted to the final test. Sometimes these pre-tests have a smaller prize attached to them.[4] Several local organisations have set up challenges that serve as pre-tests to larger prizes such as the JREF’s One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge[1][5][6] or the 2012–2013 SKEPP Sisyphus Prize (for one million euros).

History
In 1922, Scientific American made two US$2,500 offers: (1), for the first authentic spirit photograph made under test conditions, and , for the first psychic to produce a “visible psychic manifestation.”[9] Harry Houdini was a member of the investigating committee. The first medium to be tested was George Valiantine, who claimed that in his presence spirits would speak through a trumpet that floated around a darkened room. For the test, Valiantine was placed in a room, the lights were extinguished, but unbeknownst to him his chair had been rigged to light a signal in an adjoining room if he left his seat. Because the light signals were tripped during his performance, Valiantine did not collect the award.

Since then, many individuals and groups have offered similar monetary awards for proof of the paranormal in an observed setting. Indian rationalist Abraham Kovoor’s challenge in 1963 inspired American skeptic James Randi’s prize in 1964,[10] which became the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge. In 2003, these prizes were calculated to have a combined value of US$2,326,500.[11] As of January 2015, none of the prizes have been awarded. The James Randi paranormal challenge was officially terminated in 2015.[12] As of 2018, these prizes combine to approximately US$1,024,215. However, they take place in multiple countries and the conditions to be met may vary considerably.

List of standing prizes

Czech Skeptics’ Club Sisyfos
3,383,333 Czech koruna
$160,671
To anyone who can prove to possess paranormal abilities in areas such as clairvoyance, telepathy, telekinesis, rhabdomancy, 
Unclaimed

China
Sima Nan
1,000,000 Chinese yuan
$157,913
“To anyone who can perform one act of “special ability” without cheating.”
Unclaimed

1984–
India
Tarksheel Society
10,000,000 Indian rupees
$150,110
To anyone who can perform any of 22 specified “miracles”. The entry fee is 10,000 INR.
Unclaimed

United States
Independent Investigations Group
100,000 dollars
$100,000
“To anyone who can show, ‘under proper observing conditions’, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power or event.” The person who refers a successful applicant to the IIG earns US$5,000.[15] Previously, the prize was US$50,000.
Unclaimed

Australia
Australian Skeptics
100,000 Australian dollars
$75,820
For proof of the existence of extrasensory perception, telepathy, or telekinesis.
Unclaimed

India
Science and Rationalists’ Association of India, Prabir Ghosh
5,000,000 Indian rupees
$75,055
Prabir Ghosh will award the prize “to any person of this world who can demonstrate his/her super normal power by performing any one of the following activities without taking help of any hoax/trick at my designated place and circumstances.”
Unclaimed.

However, the challenger has admitted that they don’t possess that amount of money.

1994–
New Zealand
Stuart Landsborough, New Zealand Skeptics
100,000 New Zealand dollars
$70,791
“To anyone who could prove by psychic ability that they can indicate the exact location” of two halves of a promissory note hidden within an area of 100 metres inside Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World. Over the years, the search area has been reduced from 5 kilometer to 100 metres and the prize doubled, but the note split in two to reduce the chance of winning by sheer luck. Contestants have to donate NZ$1,000 to charity if they fail.
Unclaimed

2000–
Italy
Alfredo Barrago’s Bet, CICAP
50,000 Euro
$60,737
” shown at least a ‘phenomenon’ produced by ‘medium, seers, sensitive etc.’ of paranormal nature.”
Unclaimed

2002–
Belgium
SKEPP Sisyphus Prize
25,000 Euro
$30,368
The original Sisyphus Prize was €10,000. Between 2012 and 2013, for the duration of one year, an anonymous Antwerp businessman raised the prize €1,000,000, while several European skeptical organisations attached their pre-tests to it. Afterwards, the regular Sisyphus Prize was continued and raised from €10,000 to €25,000.
Unclaimed

2013–
Great Britain
Association for Skeptical Inquiry
12,000 British pounds
$16,535
For proof of psychic powers.

Unclaimed

2015–
Russia
Harry Houdini Prize
1,000,000 Russian rubles
$16,096
The prize is awarded for demonstrating paranormal or supernatural abilities under conditions scientifically valid experiment.
Unclaimed

2001–
United States
North Texas Skeptics
12,000 dollars
$12,000
“]o any person … who can demonstrate any psychic or paranormal power or ability under scientifically valid observing conditions.
Unclaimed

1997–
Great Britain
Lavkesh Prasha, Asian Rationalist Society of Britain
10,000 British pounds
$13,779
“To any person who could prove to possess magical powers before the media and scientists.” The initial amount of £2,000 was increased five fold in 2006 to attract more applicants.
Unclaimed

2008–
Estonia
Eesti Skeptik
10,000 Euro
$12,147
To anyone who can prove paranormal abilities.
Unclaimed

2004–
Germany
GWUP
10,000 Euro
$12,147
To anyone who can prove paranormal abilities.
Unclaimed

1989–
Finland
Skepsis ry (Finnish Association of Skeptics)
10,000 Euro
$12,147
For anybody in Finland who can produce paranormal phenomena under satisfactory observing conditions or prove that she/he/it is an extraterrestrial by providing a DNA (or equivalent) sample for investigation. Money partially from astronomer Hannu Karttunen and magician Iiro Seppänen.
Unclaimed

1988–
Netherlands
Stichting Skepsis
10,000 Euro
$12,147
To anyone who wants their “alternative diagnoses” (including kinesiology, electroacupuncture, bioresonance therapy, Therapeutic Touch, observing auras, clairvoyance, iridology, pendulum dowsing, astrology) to be tested; winning the pre-test earns €500.[33] Skepsis’ first challenge in March 1988 was ƒ10,000 to any “psychic surgeon” who could remove chairman Cornelis de Jager’s appendix.
Unclaimed

Sweden
Swedish Humanist Association
100,000 Swedish krona
$11,550
To anyone who can demonstrate a paranormal or supernatural ability for which no scientific explanation can be found.
Unclaimed

1996–
Canada
Les Sceptiques du Quebec
10,000 Canadian dollars
$7785
“Just a small fact, observable or verifiable through experiment” of a paranormal phenomenon.
Unclaimed

2012–
Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Rationalist Association
1,000,000 Sri Lankan rupees
$6341
Professor Carlo Fonseka renewed Abraham Kovoor’s challenge.
Unclaimed

Unknown–
United States
Fayetteville Freethinkers
5000 dollars
$5000
“[F]or a demonstration of supernatural claims”.
Unclaimed

1976–
India
Indian Skeptic, Indian CSICOP
100,000 Indian rupees
$1501
Formerly moderated by Basava Premanand, deceased in 2009. Offered after Abraham Kovoor fell ill with cancer in 1976. Premanand’s magazine and organization have continued the challenge after his death in 2009.
Unclaimed

1995–
India
Indian Rationalist Association, Sanal Edamaruku
100,000 Indian rupees
$1501
To anyone who could prove the 1995 “Hindu milk miracle” was, in fact, a miracle.[40] Since 2002, it includes “anyone who can provide scientific evidence for iridology”.
Unclaimed

2011–
Mexico
Daniel Zepeda
20,000 Mexican pesos
$1074
“To anyone who can show, under proper observational and replicate conditions, evidence of a paranormal, supernatural or occult power for which science has no answer.”
Unclaimed

1989–
United States
Tampa Bay Skeptics
1000 dollars
$1,000
“To anyone able to demonstrate any paranormal phenomenon under mutually agreed-upon observing conditions.”
Unclaimed

2012–
United States
Fayetteville Freethinkers
A house
Unknown
A house is offered to anyone who can catch a Bigfoot.
Unclaimed

 

1964–2015
United States
JREF, One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge
1,000,000 dollars
$1,000,000
Launched by James Randi as $1,000 in 1964,] raised to $10,000 by 1980,to $100,000 by 1989, and finally to a million in 1996. Since the launch of the James Randi Educational Foundation, applications were processed and tests prepared and conducted by a committee. In 2015 the challenge was officially terminated.
Unclaimed.

A participant dubbed “Yellow Bamboo” claimed they passed an unofficial preliminary test, but the JREF determined the test wasn’t conducted or recorded as specified. SO THEY CHEATED HIM OF HIS PRIZE.

 

1987–2002
France
Gérard Majax, Henri Broch, Jacques Theodor, International Zetetic Challenge
200,000 Euro
$242,949
Mediums and clairvoyants were challenged to show their powers, but all 275 candidates allegedly failed.
Unclaimed

1928–1995
United States
Joseph Dunninger, Houdini Magical Hall of Fame
31,000 dollars
$31,000
To anyone who can cause a suspended pencil in a sealed box to write a message on a pad of paper, also in the box.
Unclaimed
2012

India
Tarksheel Society
1,000,000 Indian rupees
$15,011
To anyone who could correctly predict the election results in five Indian state assemblies.
Unclaimed

2014
India
Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations
1,000,000 Indian rupees
$15,011
Correctly answer 21 out of 25 questions relating to future election results. Intended for astrologers, but open to anyone.
Unclaimed

1985–1988
United States
Paranormal Investigating Committee of Pittsburgh
10,000 dollars
$10,000
“To anyone who can demonstrate successfully a psychic claim in a controlled examination.
Unclaimed

1966–2005
United States
Philip J. Klass
10,000 dollars
$10,000
For proof of an extraterrestrial visit to the Earth. The prize was discontinued when Philip J. Klass died in 2005.
Unclaimed

2007–2009
United States
Sanad Rashed, Ahmed Khaled Tawfik
5000 dollars
$5000
For proof ouija boards function as claimed.[citation needed]
Unclaimed

2008
India
Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations
200,000 Indian rupees
$3002
Correctly answer 21 out of 25 questions relating to future election results. Intended for astrologers, but open to anyone.
Unclaimed

1922
United States
Scientific American
2500 dollars
$2500
Two $2,500 offers: (1) for the first authentic spirit photograph made under test conditions, or (2) for the first psychic to produce a “visible psychic manifestation.
Unclaimed

Unknown–2005
United States
New York Area Skeptics
2000 dollars
$2000
Awarded to the successful completion of the JREF One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge.[citation needed]
Unclaimed

1963–1978
Sri Lanka
Abraham Kovoor
100,000 Sri Lankan rupees
$634
Kovoor initiated the Abraham Kovoor’s challenge starting in 1963. He inspired others like Randi and Premanand. He died in 1978.
Unclaimed

2012–2013
Estonia
Eesti Skeptik
500 Euro
$607
Awarded to anyone who passed the Estonian preliminary test to the Belgian Sisyphus Prize.
Unclaimed

2012–2013
Great Britain
Association for Skeptical Inquiry
400 British pounds
$551
Awarded to anyone who passed the British preliminary test to the Belgian Sisyphus Prize.
Unclaimed

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