James Randi has published that the JREF’s Million Dollar challenge for demonstrating paranormal power will be discontinued on March 6, 2010, 12 years after it was first offered. Randi’s site reports the following:
Now, while the JREF earns a certain income from having the prize money very conservatively invested, that sum could certainly be used more productively if it were made freely available to us.
As of March 6th, 2010 – twelve years after the challenge was first offered – it will be.
The James Randi Educational Foundation Million-Dollar Challenge will be discontinued 24 months from this coming March 6th, and those prize funds will then be available to generally add to our flexibility. This move will free us to do many more projects, which will be announced at that time.
This means that all those wishing to be claimants are required to get their applications in before the deadline, properly filled out and notarized as described in the published rules.
This means that the foundation has other plans for the money and they don’t want to keep it for the prize. It seems to me, this will have several implications on the skeptics / paranormal proponents debate: the skeptics will tell “well, there’s been JREF’s challenge for 12 years and no one demonstrated paranormal powers for the challenge” and the proponents of paranormal will say that nobody comes out now because no money is offered.
Obviously I have my doubts about the challenge’s good will which I base on an opinion of several people I respect, as I wrote in the article About James Randi’s million dollar challenge but this will obviously be an end of an era.