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The Magic Number Nine

The Effect
In this mental magic trick you will confuse the sceptics in your audience by correctly predicting the result of a complex series of calculations and then revealing your prediction in an unusual way.

Before you begin you will need:

  • a magazine
  • a piece of card
  • a pencil
  • a marker pen

You will also need to open the magazine at page number 9 and write in bold letters using the marker pen “I got here first” because this will be your prediction!

Here is how this mental magic trick is done
  1. Ask a member of the audience to think of a four digit number in which all of the digits are different. Tell them to write the number down but not to tell you what it is – see (a) in the demonstration below
  2. Get them to jumble up the four digits and write the new number below the first (b) if it is smaller or above the first number if it is larger.
  3. Now ask them to subtract the smaller number from the larger number (c)
  4. Next get them to add the digits of the total together (d). If the total of this calculation is a two digit number then these two digits should be added together as well. They need to carry on like this until they are left with a single digit number (e). Magically, this number will always be 9!

Here is a demonstration of this magical calculation:
(a) 8253 (first number thought of)
(b) 3285 (original digits jumbled up)
(c) 8253 – 3285 = 4968
(d) 4+9+6+8 = 27 So, as this is 2 digit number add the two digits: 2+7
(e) =9

The final part and real flourish of this trick comes next. Just hand the magazine to the spectator and ask them to open it at the page which corresponds to the number that they finished up with in their calculation. This, of course, you could not possibly have known!!

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