Official Rules of The Billion Dollar IOU Challenge
If you can successfully fulfill the requirements of any of the numbered Challenges listed below, I will give you my personal IOU ("I Owe You") for One Billion US Dollars (US$1,000,000,000).
IOU One Billion US Dollars ($1, 000, 000, 000) *
* If I determine you have won any of the active Challenges listed here.
For the IOU document from me to be genuine, it must be in original writing, not a photocopy or other reproduction, on paper and include the following: a statement saying that the IOU will be payable only to the named recipient in a lump sum in cash without interest and will only be valid during my lifetime; my name and notarized dated signature; the name of the recipient, who must be the same person who won the identified Challenge; a brief identifying description of the Challenge won; and a statement saying that the named recipient will be responsible for paying any taxes if and when required, and in the case of a documentary stamp tax if required, if the documentary stamp tax is not paid by the named recipient after receipt of the IOU document within the required legal time limit, the IOU is voided.
The original IOU document must be surrendered at the time it is redeemed and must match a black-and-white or color photocopy in my possession of the original IOU document and to which it will be compared by all parties present at the time of redemption. Should my photocopy be lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged prior to redemption, or otherwise unavailable, that fact will not invalidate the original and it will be accepted as proof and redeemed accordingly.
There is no application to fill out and no preliminary test you must pass to participate in any of the Challenges. You will not be required to be photographed or recorded or travel anywhere. You will only need to identify yourself and verify your legal identity if you win, for the purpose of preparing and delivering the IOU and for my records. You can choose to win the Challenge and decline the IOU. There is no time limit for my delivering to you the completed IOU document once I have determined that you have successfully completed the requirements of the Challenge; however, it is my good faith intention to do so at the earliest feasible opportunity. If the IOU document is lost or destroyed in transit to you, if not delivered or collected in person, a replacement will contain a statement saying that the earlier one is voided. Only one IOU document will be accepted for redemption. Once there is confirmation of delivery to you, no replacement IOU document will be issued for any reason and it your responsibility to keep it safe.
There is no purchase or entry fee required to participate in any of the Challenges. You must be 13 years or older, 18 in the state of Maine. This is not a sweepstakes. It is a reward incentive for providing me with indisputable proof of the demonstration of the described paranormal power that you are being challenged to prove is real, or for providing me with indisputable proof of the accuracy of the described widely published media claim. Void where prohibited by law. Void if the intended IOU recipient, or the recipient's parent or legal guardian, refuses to provide legal identity information that will be needed to prepare the IOU and for my records. Void if ownership of the IOU is transferred. Void if the original recipient is deceased at the time the IOU document is presented for redemption. The IOU recipient must be a living human being, with one exception: These Challenges are also open to submissions originating from an artificial intelligence (AI) entity, in which case, the named IOU recipient can either be the AI entity's owner, which can be a living person, company, organization, educational institution, or government, or at the owner's discretion, the AI entity can be named as the IOU recipient.
In making email contact with me, it is suggested that you put, at the least, "IOU Challenge" in the subject line of your email to distinguish it from other emails I get. Entries must be in the English language, the only language in which I am fluent, and must be understandable by me. You may use the email form on the Contact page if you prefer. I am not responsible for undelivered or late entries. Only one Billion Dollar IOU will be issued per each of the currently active Challenges, and only to the earliest correct entry received in my sole determination.
These general rules apply to all the Challenges. Each Challenge may have its own additional specific rules described below. By submitting an entry to any of these Challenges, you agree that I will be the sole judge of whether the Challenge has been won. I may choose to revise, replace, renumber, end, or add other Challenges in the future. This live web page on the Internet domain jamesaconrad.com, as owned by author James A. Conrad, born February 15, 1955, is the only authorized official current source of information and rules for The Billion Dollar IOU Challenge. Archived versions of this web page at other domain addresses, such as the Internet Archive, which are under the control of others, are not considered official.
Please note that, no surprise, I do not currently have a billion US dollars, but you never know, I might win a billion dollar lottery jackpot in the future, or perhaps we, depending on the Challenge you enter below, could make a breakthrough in psychic powers research in the future, sell the discovery, and then I would have the money available for you to redeem the IOU from me in a single payment. It is also possible your psychic superpower may only connect with me for some reason initially and if we then subsequently team up to arrange a sale, you would also become very wealthy at the same time. At the very least, however, you or your heirs may be able to sell the original IOU document as a curious autographed paper collectible at auction someday. Until then or until you redeem it, you have the option of making use of whatever publicity value you may derive from owning it and having won the particular Challenge.
CHALLENGE NUMBER ONE (Paranormal: long-distance telepathy / thought transference)
— The Billion Dollar IOU Telepathic Thought Transference Challenge —
Date began: August 1, 2015. Status: Open
Being able to transmit a thought message to another person would be a very valuable psychic tool for emergency rescuers, law enforcement, the military, and astronauts. Accurately performed telepathy, such as thought transference of spoken words or imagery, would be worth billions of dollars to those who have operative control over its function and possible learning ability by others.
Provide me with indisputable proof that you possess the telepathic power of spoken thought transference by mentally sending me a spoken email address with which to contact you and I will reward you with one billion US dollars by way of my personal IOU.
The telepathically spoken email address must be in the English language. It is suggested that in your attempt, unless it is clearly understandable, you mentally spell out the letters of at least the front username. Repeat it, as I have to have time to write it down, which might be in the middle of the night for my time, which is Florida time, same as the time in New York City. It should arrive in my mind unexpectedly sounding like an auditory hallucination, a definite voice heard internally only, not as a visual impression, which could just be my inventive imagination. I encounter email addresses visually every day while online, some of them new to me.
I will be exercising extreme discretion in responding to any email address allegedly received by telepathy in order to determine if it is in fact an entry in this Challenge, not some form of exotic new technology in use by a nearby operator, and in case you are perhaps mischievously transmitting one that belongs to an uninvolved person or entity. If as a result of my subsequent communication with you by conventional means, I judge this to have been an actual act of telepathic thought transference, then you have won this Challenge.
CHALLENGE NUMBER TWO (Paranormal: long-distance psychokinesis / teleportation / materialization)
— The Billion Dollar IOU Psychokinetic Teleportation / Materialization Challenge —
Date began: August 1, 2015. Status: Open
Being able to mentally transport an object instantaneously from one location to another or to create it seemingly from nothing (using atoms and subatomic particles in the nearby environment or from elsewhere) would be a very valuable psychic tool for emergency rescuers, law enforcement, the military, and astronauts to have and would be worth billions of dollars to those who have operative control over its function and possible learning ability by others.
Provide me with indisputable proof that you possess the psychokinetic power of long-distance teleportation or materialization by mentally transporting or materializing a piece of paper to me that contains an email address with which to contact you and I will reward you with one billion US dollars by way of my personal IOU.
Please be aware that my merely finding a piece of paper with an email address on it will not be sufficient evidence to conclude that you psychokinetically teleported it to me or materialized it in my close proximity. I must discover it in a location and under extraordinary circumstances where others could not have reasonably left or secretly planted it; for example, in my side pants pocket, in my front shirt pocket, in my shoe, in my wallet, in my laptop upon opening it, in my laptop bag, a place I visit regularly where I live alone, or if out in public, it must suddenly appear where moments ago it was not present and no one else was nearby. The requirement here is for proof that cannot be disputed. I was a member of a skeptics organization for 15 years. My use of the phrase "piece of paper" is meant to be a general description of anything paper of any size and description (torn scrap, business card, money, lottery ticket, brochure, folded sheet, etc.) on which an email address could be hand written or printed.
I will be exercising extreme discretion in responding to any email address allegedly received by teleportation or materialization in order to determine if it is in fact an entry in this Challenge and in case you are perhaps mischievously teleporting or materializing one that belongs to an uninvolved person or entity. If as a result of my subsequent communication with you by conventional means, I judge this to have been an actual act of mental teleportation or materialization, then you have won this Challenge.
CHALLENGE NUMBER THREE (Media accuracy / Truth in media)
— The Billion Dollar IOU "Emmy Award-winning TV producer Linda Moulton Howe" Media Accuracy Challenge —
Date began: August 1, 2015. Status: Open
"Linda Moulton Howe is an Emmy Award-winning TV producer."
Provide me with indisputable proof that Linda Moulton Howe has ever won an Emmy® Award for producing anything shown on television from the beginning of her career up to August 1, 2015 and I will reward you with one billion US dollars by way of my personal IOU. Please be aware that I discussed and researched this claim with executives at the two national Emmy Award organizations in the United States, executives of relevant regional chapters, and Linda Moulton Howe herself and was unable to obtain any evidence, let alone indisputable proof, to support the claim being true. However, I can confirm that sufficient evidence exists, to my research satisfaction, that Linda Moulton Howe instead won a regional news Emmy Award, one each, in the categories of Writing, Directing, and Sound Editing on three separate science-related, 16mm film documentaries as part of her work in the position of Director of Special Projects and oncamera reporter at the Denver, Colorado CBS-affiliate television station KMGH-TV in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but no producing win, even though she was also a producer on those documentaries, none of which won in a best program category. The following list, then, are confirmed regional Emmy Award wins by Linda Moulton Howe. I also have close-up color photographs of the statuettes described, provided by Linda Moulton Howe:
Linda Moulton Howe, in my opinion and unless and until this Challenge is won, can accurately be described in the following ways ("Regional" can also be added to any of these): Emmy Award-winning journalist, Emmy Award-winning science and environmental journalist, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Emmy Award-winning documentary director, Emmy Award-winning documentary writer, and Emmy Award-winning documentary sound editor. The statuettes given to regional winners in the United States are physically smaller by several inches than those given to national Emmy Award winners and international Emmy Award winners, the latter being awards that are considered more difficult to win.
Direct link to this page section: http://jamesaconrad.com/TK/the-billion-dollar-IOU-challenge.html#Linda-Moulton-Howe-Emmy-Awards
CHALLENGE NUMBER FOUR (Media accuracy / Truth in media)
— The Billion Dollar IOU "James Randi Lived Alone in New Jersey" Media Accuracy Challenge —
Date began: August 1, 2015. Status: Open
The New York Times published an article by writer Adam Higginbotham on magician James Randi titled "The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi" on November 7, 2014 online and in its Sunday print newspaper November 9, 2014. The following passage was included:
"He bought a small house in Rumson, N.J., and installed a sign outside that announced randi — charlatan. He lived there alone, with a pair of talking birds and a kinkajou named Sam. Although Randi had known he was gay since he was a teenager, he kept that to himself."
According to property records on the website of Monmouth County, New Jersey USA County Clerk's Office, James Randi owned the house in Rumson from August 10, 1965 to February 11, 1986. The New York Times article does not state that he lived alone "in the beginning" or "for x number of years." The only description given to readers in the article regarding his house in New Jersey is that he "lived there alone." Please be aware that a 1981 People magazine profile stated something significantly different: "He shares his macabre bachelor pad with a rotating roster of apprentice magicians, a parrot, a macaw and a black cat named Alice . . ." James Randi himself wrote in 2006 *: "Some years ago, when I lived in New Jersey, a young mime / magician, Steve — with whom I am still in touch — shared my home with me, and attended the local high school."
The New York Times and writer of the article were unresponsive to a correction request for their 2014 article submitted soon after it was published and appear to be content with offering their altered version of history. Provide me with indisputable proof that James Randi lived alone in his house in Rumson, New Jersey during his entire 1965 to 1986 ownership of it as The New York Times unreservedly states as fact and I will reward you with one billion US dollars by way of my personal IOU.
* Swift, October 6, 2006, newsletter of the JREF (if unavailable, a copy of the original web page has been retained offline for journalistic researcher use).
Update September 16, 2017: On July 16, 2017, I made a second attempt by email to get the correction department of The New York Times to fix what I claim is a factual error in their 2014 article "The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi"; to wit, that James Randi, during his residency in his home in Rumson, New Jersey, USA, "lived there alone" which the article states to readers as fact. After a month of waiting and no action being taken, I then once again emailed the writer of the article, Adam Higginbotham, on August 16, 2017 with a similar request and included a copy of the July 16 email that I had sent to The New York Times. As evidence to support my position that the statement "he lived there alone" is untrue, I provided each of them with seven — seven — previously published sources that indicated numerous other people at various times lived with James Randi in his house in New Jersey. In one instance, quoting Randi, a teenager "was in residence for a year at my home, with the approval of his mother, attending the local high school." The previously published sources included ironically The New York Times itself in a 1973 article and even Randi himself oncamera in a 1992 Skeptics Society lecture recorded on video telling a long ago story about his "foster son" Alexis, whom Randi described as a "kid" living with him at the time at his home in Rumson and in which an earlier 1986 People magazine profile stated "Randi, a bachelor" had raised Alexis "from the age of 13."
Additionally, and not among the seven sources provided to the Times and Higginbotham, there exists a phone recording from the mid 1960s (1967, Randi age 38/39) of a different youthful voiced male answering the phone at Randi's New Jersey home while he was away, offering to take a message for him. This recording is among a collection of phone call recordings consisting of brief snippets and complete calls, seven of eight of which use graphic language between Randi and teenage boys, made with Randi's knowledge on his own equipment that were entered as evidence in a 1993 federal civil court case (see note below)* brought against Randi and in which Randi claimed he had made with the assistance of the phone company because, according to Randi, he was being harassed by unknown callers. In that jury trial, the federal judge questioned Randi's credibility as to how the recordings came to be because the calls do not sound like harassment (I've listened to them, they don't). In court, Randi's attorney tried to block the jury from hearing the recordings, but the judge ruled against the request noting that in one of them, Randi asks for the boy's phone number and then immediately calls him back at the payphone he was using due to the teenager having run out of coins to continue paying for the call. Randi then resumes the graphic conversation of setting up an encounter at his home. The various teenagers said they were calling in response to ads they had seen around town, such as written on a restroom wall. In none of the calls do the teenagers give their age as being younger than seventeen, the legal age of consent in New Jersey. These recordings also refute the unreserved claim in the Times article that Randi kept his gay status a secret, though he apparently did so on a professional level.
I offered writer Adam Higginbotham the opportunity to independently retract what he had written about Randi living alone and to make a brief public statement I could publish distancing himself from the Times's decision not to correct the article, but both he and the Times once again chose not to respond and as of this date the article remains uncorrected. This is a media accuracy Challenge. To win this Challenge, you must provide me with indisputable proof that the 2014 article in The New York Times "The Unbelievable Skepticism of the Amazing Randi" contains the truth with regard to its unreserved statement about James Randi's home life in New Jersey that "he lived there alone." You must be able to prove all the evidence to the contrary, including Randi's own multiple written and spoken admissions that he had people living with him, are false.
* Byrd v. Randi, Civil Case No. MJG-89-636, United States District Court for the District of Maryland, 1993, Judge Marvin J. Garbis presiding, Evidence Entry #40. Plaintiff was Eldon Byrd, now deceased (1939–2002), who had sued Randi for defamation. Attorney for James Randi: Diane Lank. Trial outcome here.
Direct link to this page section: http://jamesaconrad.com/TK/the-billion-dollar-IOU-challenge.html#James-Randi-lived-alone-claim