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Topic: The Million Dollar Bill !
Message: Posted by: Jay (May 25, 2002 04:29PM)
Hello all. I have been reading, with interest, some of your ideas about bill switches and I really like the thought of switching a spectator's bill with a million dollar bill, for a few reasons.
First, and most magically, what magician WOULDN'T switch all his money to million dollar bills if he or she could? This is along the same lines of thought as the Miser's Dream rationale. That is to say "If I had real magic powers, wouldn't I make myself and others rich?" It's a powerful moment to take a spectator's borrowed bill and transform it into a million dollars. The moment of impact is so strong that it provides great cover for anything else you may have planned next (loads, ditches, etc).
This leads into the next phase, which I call the Canei phase. As in "Can I keep this?" This often happens when I do a mismade dollar switch, except I can't give away a 10 dollar mismade bill each time I perform it. The million dollar bill is a great way to give your participant a souvenir of the magic that has just happened.
I am still undecided whether or not it is entirely fair to let the spectator keep the million dollar bill, which cost me about 20 cents, in exchange for their $10 or $20. It's a great way to make money, but is it fair? I don't know. I usually ask for a dollar or a five. This way, if they keep the million, they are out only a few bucks at most, and if they want their real money back, then I could just 'un-magic' it for them. If they give me a $10 or a $20, and WANT to keep the million, well then...caveat emptor (or is it caveat spectator?).
Finally, to find the million dollar bill, I was successful doing a google search for 'million dollar bill'. The best price I found was $25 for 100 bills, plus shipping fees. Then I decided to see if anyone on eBay was selling these. I found an eBay user named xmel who is selling these at 5 for a dollar, with 3.00 shipping no matter how many you buy. The auction ends today, but I will be glad to be the conduit between here and there if my transaction works out. He seems to have a ton of them, and I am sure he would like the business.
I hope this has been helpful to anyone who is thinking about doing this small piece of almost impromptu magic. I would love to hear other's thoughts on this.

Jay :bg:
Message: Posted by: cardguy (May 26, 2002 12:24AM)
I'm glad your having fun with this idea. I have been carrying my million dollar bill in my TT ever since I got it. This one time when I did it everyone yelled "let me see that!!" So I handed it to them and they all hundled over it to inspect it. It's a novel item that not many people have seen before, so you'll at least get a smile from it. Actually, yesterday one guy told me it was the best trick I ever did! (I personally don't agree, but hey why argue?) :bg:
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (May 26, 2002 03:58AM)
Hey friends,
Read the short story by Mark Twain called "The Million Dollar Banknote," if you want some funny patter ideas for your routines.
(That kind of idea is what happens when you mix up an English teacher with magic!)

By the way, don't your special bills like this get messed up too quickly when using the TT for the switch???

And Jay, I'd love to buy some of the big bills.

alleycat :kitty:
Message: Posted by: Wallace (May 26, 2002 05:07AM)
Am I correct in thinking that there are TWO versions of the million dollar bills on the market....one made with actual banknote paper and the other a rather cheap version made of ordinary paper? :question:
Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (May 26, 2002 07:20AM)
Hi Jay,
I read your post with interest. I don't do the bill switch, but I did work in restaurants for a few years. My question - are you working for tips, are you working a party and getting paid for the gig? Or, are you working for friends? Its been my experience that when working in a restaurant, it was uncool to keep the money I borrowed. I did like leaving a borrowed bill on the table at the end of my routine, as it often became the tip. But in that case, it was not forced, it was offered. That leaves a better feeling in the specator's mind. In fact, I think the same logic would apply to any situation where money was borrowed, whether you are looking for a tip or not. Instead of finishing the routine with only the million dollar bill, why don't you either: Let them keep the bill, produce another one, and use it in a routine where it changes back into their bill at the end,2. make their bill re-appear in an impossible location and return it to them,3. change their bill back, but produce a bunch of bills to give out to everyone at the end of the routine, 4. print up your own million dolar bill with your name and number inprinted on it, and give them out as business cards, etc. Anything but keep the borrowed bill in exchange for the phony note. There are a zillion ideas that you can do, perhaps others will offer additional ones. Think of the cost you pay for the bill as an investment for future business. Good luck, Michael Rubinstein
Message: Posted by: Jay (May 26, 2002 08:56AM)
Mike, thanks for the thoughtful reply to my Million Dollar Bill post. To answer your question, I don't perform at a restaurant or in any public place like that, but I am often called to do something magical at work, in social settings, or at family gatherings. I have not yet kept someone's money when doing the bill switch, because I mostly do it with the mismade dollar bill (which cost me $10) and I really can't afford to let someone else keep it. Regarding the million dollar bill, I was kind of thinking that if someone wanted to keep it, I would patter about how their bill turned into the million, and I would have to change it back to their original bill. Then maybe I would produce the million from thin air via TT, saying "Of course, when I am alone, I just produce all the money I want...and here's a million for you too." This way, they get their original money back and a souvenir. You are right, in that it is probably bad form to keep their money outright. I'm fairly new to magic and don't have all of the social nuances grasped yet. Of course, if they want to give me a tip AFTER I do the switch and they have both bills in their possession, I guess that's acceptable, right? Thanks again.

Jay. :D
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (May 26, 2002 10:33AM)
It is interesting that you bring up this topic. I had thought about doing the bill switch to a million dollar bill and just yesterday picked up a couple million dollar bills in my local magic store so that I could play around with the idea.

I am definitely undecided as to whether or not it would be proper to keep a one dollar bill in exchange for letting them keep a million dollar bill. I wouldn't be out to really profit from doing that, but the million dollar bills do cost money. And it isn't like they are paying an over-inflated price. I bought mine for 50 so keeping a dollar isn't a rip-off. And it is not like they aren't getting something of value for their dollar. On the other hand, I'm not sure that I'd want to keep their dollar. I guess if I decided to do it, I would change their bill into a million dollar bill and if they wanted to keep it, I would ask if they would like me to give them a dollar back for using theirs?

Whatever you do though, I would not make "their" dollar come back. They should believe that their bill is now the million dollar bill. Their dollar changed! If you give them their original dollar back, then it becomes a switch and not a transformation. A subtle but I think important point.
Message: Posted by: The Pianoman (May 26, 2002 10:41AM)
If anyone here could source these bills, I would like to get some.
Even here in Norway, its a good idea.

The phrase "Million Dollar" is well known in most English speaking countries....ie
"You look like a million dollars in that dress".

PM me with any suggestions.

Regards Alan
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (May 26, 2002 03:21PM)
I haave over a 100 of these one million dollar bills (the ones on proper banknote paper). I use them for the Kaps 11 note routine.
Message: Posted by: John Macmillan (May 26, 2002 10:50PM)
On 2002-05-26 16:21, p.b.jones wrote:
I haave over a 100 of these one million dollar bills (the ones on proper banknote paper). I use them for the Kaps 11 note routine.

Is that the "Flash Bills" routine where blank pieces of paper turn into real money or is this another effect? If it's not the flash bills routine could you please describe the effect and provide a reference?
Message: Posted by: Wallace (May 27, 2002 04:10AM)
Phillip, you say "on proper banknote paper"... any chance of posting the source? :smiletear:
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (May 27, 2002 04:36AM)
I'd be interested in the source too!
Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (May 27, 2002 07:54AM)
Even if the million dollar bill costs money, if you are performing at a paid gig you could think of the bills as a souvineer and an investment toward getting future gigs. If you are performing for friends, then I don't think they would expect you to finish the trick without their own bill, no matter how cool the million dollar bill looks (at least my friends!).See my earlier post as to my reasoning. I would change the bill back to their own bill in that case. I agree with the thought of not producing the original bill after handing out the million dollar bill right away. Earlier, I was just interjecting some ideas as to a way to return their money, should you want to let them keep the million dollar bill. I remember reading somewhere years ago that in a show, a magician did the $100 bill switch, and let the spectator keep the bill (they must have been paid well for their show!). Obviously, most magicians doing the $100 bill switch end up changing the bill back to the dollar (see Michael Ammar's Encore III for his handling). Another thought (also from the earlier mentioned book)- if you want to give out the million bill, and don't want to worry about keeping their money, you can use your own bill! There's no actual reason to borrow the bill for the effect. You can also have several handlings - turn the bill back when you perform for free, give it away when you perform for money, but don't keep their money without giving them the choice before they lend it to you.
Message: Posted by: Margarette (May 27, 2002 12:16PM)
I use the Million Dollar bill in a game show type routine I have called "Let's Make a Millionaire". It's a combination of Let's Make a Deal and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The "contestant" answers questions and then makes a choice of several options available...then of course the "do you want to keep this or change for that?" So far, reactions have been good. Now, when I perform this for the younger crowd, they always ask "Is this real?" when they make the final decision and win.

Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (May 27, 2002 04:21PM)
I posted this before, but this is also a valid spot for it: Consider doing the mismade bill when doing any bill transformation effect. Why? The audience is left with a different impression of what you have perform. When you change a bill to any other demonination they will see it as good sleight of hand. When you do the mismade bill they actually believe it is possible to fold a bill that way and will continue to do so even after the bill is given back to them. Jay Sankey has several bill changes that go with that premise. Give it a try and you'll see the difference.
Of course, if you want to bend the rule a little I'll give you an idea I used at one of my film festivals: I took a one dollar bill and stamped it with my film's name and phone number then I did the same to the million dollar bills I was giving away. When the changed happened the stamp gives the effect more of a morphing quality and now you can give away the bill with your number.
Message: Posted by: Alan Wheeler (May 28, 2002 06:26AM)
That's really true. If there is something that remains the same (like the stamp) other than the fact that it is a bill, there really is a greater "morphing quality."

Thanks, Greg, for that valuable insight.

alleycat :kitty:
Message: Posted by: Brad Jeffers (May 28, 2002 12:43PM)
On 2002-05-27 08:54, msr wrote: I remember reading somewhere years ago that in a show, a magician did the $100 bill switch, and let the spectator keep the bill (they must have been paid well for their show!).
[/quote] Steve Cohen does this at each of his shows (and yes, he is very well paid!). There are indeed, 2 variations of the million dollar bill. The cheaper version has the Statue of Liberty on the face, while the better version (the one that feels like real currency) has an American Eagle on its face. You can get these "deluxe" bills from some coin dealers. I saw them listed in the magazine "CoinAge", for $4.95 each.
Message: Posted by: Michael Rubinstein (May 28, 2002 06:54PM)
How do I get a front row seat to his show?
Message: Posted by: Jay (Jun 1, 2002 02:17PM)
Here's a final follow-up to this thread. I finally got my million dollar bills from xmel on eBay and they are as promised, the right size and shape. They are the cheap-o ones though, even though I hoped they wouldn't be. They look nice, but are printed on stock paper, not on banknote paper. For the price, though, you can't beat it. I hope this isn't considered spam or advertising...I just wanted to follow up on my original post. Thanks to all of you guys for all the knowledge you have imparted to me.

Message: Posted by: Wallace (Jun 2, 2002 05:03AM)
I'd still love to know the supplier of the banknote paper version! :hmm:
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Jun 3, 2002 08:33AM)
Doing a bill switch with a million dollar bill IS a killer effect. I have lost or misplaced my last one and been using a gospel bill and sometimes a 2 dollar bill. But now am going to have to get some more! Thanks for reminding me how cool the million dollar bill switch is.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Jakks (Jun 3, 2002 03:50PM)
So does anyone know where you get the ones with bank note printing? My Hottrix.com Megasoft TT is coming soon, so I may want to do this trick.
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Jun 4, 2002 12:08PM)
Okay, let me help you all out.

If you switch the bills and the spectator insists on keeping the $1 million bill and not letting you change it back AND you still feel guilty about keeping their original bill...

...then send me their original bill and get that load off of your chest!

Hey, I'm here for you. Remember that.

Message: Posted by: Rover (Jul 12, 2002 12:42PM)
For those who are doing bill switch.... check out this website I just found. Personalized million dollar bills that you can put a message and your photo on! Great for bill switch and also doubles as a souvenir / business card. Plus you can keep their real bill.


Please note: I am in no way affiliated with that website