The Magic Envelope
The Magic Envelope trick is another easily adaptable trick to many different situations.
If you're tying it to your main shrimp dish you can weave a tale about the way the ancient Phoenicians, who were a sea-faring nation and known to eat large quantities of shrimp, used to believe that these strange little creatures had mystical powers.
Their high-priests and seers would often feast on shrimp as part of their ritual to predict the things which people came to ask about. The number of fish they would catch on the next expedition, the number of enemy soldiers who would be waiting to attack them, etc. (This is all made up, just to get you started on your own tale.)
Magic Envelope Effect
The magician asks for a volunteer to write down five numbers on a piece of paper. The magician asks the volunteer to TOTAL up the numbers. The magician opens a sealed envelope and it has the same number as the TOTAL!
Magic Envelope Supplies
- piece of paper
- a pen
- an envelope
Magic Envelope Secret
Beforehand, write down a four figure number that is 2 times the
current year's date, plus 212. For example, in the year 2008, the number
would = 4228. In the year 2009, the number would =
4018 + 212 = 4240. Seal the paper in the envelope.
When you do the trick, ask a volunteer -- preferably someone you
don't know well, to write down the year he was born.
It's good to play up the idea that you've just recently met and
wouldn't likely know these dates.
Ask him to write down the year of an important event in his life
(for example, the year graduated from school or the year he got
married, divorced, etc. Which date doesn't matter much as long
as it is important to him and not likely to be known to you.)
Ask him to write down his age on his birthday this year. (It's
important to specify on this year's birthday, otherwise if they
haven't had their birthday yet, it will be a different number
than if they had.)
Ask him to write down the temperature of the boiling point of
water in Farenheit degrees.
Ask him to write down the number of years that have passed since
the important event on this year's anniversary of that event.
Have the assistant TOTAL the 4 numbers.
- Open the envelope. The TOTAL will be the same as the number you already wrote down!
It will help, between the questions which you ask your volunteer to write down numbers, to ask other questions. Joke about the answers, and make chit-chat. Make sure some of the questions you ask also involve numbers. (How many brothers does she have? How far is it to the nearest hospital? How many miles does she drive in a week? etc. This other numbers, help to distract from your procedure.)
Note the boiling point of water, 212, is the number you added to the double of the year. You can change this to any other figure you want that you think that would be easy for another person to know. The purpose of adding this number is simply to make it more difficult to relate the end number to the current year.