The Final Challenge is a website devoted to the paranormal and unexplained. The site offers numerous sponsor supported 'challenges' which address topics ranging from Parapsychology to Time Travel . The prizes currently range anywhere from $1,000,000.00 to $20,000,000.00 depending on the subject.
The website went through many incarnations throughout the years. The first challenge issued was on The Bermuda Triangle It offered a prize of $100,000.00 to anyone who could provide proof that the incidents there were of a Paranormal nature. Although there were no takers, the site was noticed by a wealthy individual who was impressed by the concept. They were interested in the paranormal but did not want to be viewed negatively by their peers. They offered to sponsor a challenge as long as they could remain anonymous. This led to the adoption of the current format.
With the help of the initial sponsor, The Final Challenge was able to assemble a network of wealthy individuals who were interested in contributing. The first million dollar challenge was offered in 2002 and was based on the JFK conspiracy. Once again there were no takers, but the site crashed numerous times due to excessive hits. In order to expose as many challenges at possible the format was modified once again. The number of challenges offered at any given time was expanded from one to no less than six and the minimum prize was set at $1,000,000.00 US. In addition, the sponsors also decided to make the prizes tax free to provide an additional incentive.
The Challenge Clock Edit
The clock was created to track the number of days that have passed since a challenge was won. As of July 2007, 498 days have passed.
The Challenges Edit
The Final Challenge is currently offering eight challenges on their website:
The Psychic Challenge Intended to prove whether Psychics are real. Many have dismissed this challenge due to their familiarity with the one offered by the famous James Randi when in fact the two are totally different in concept. Randi's is a much broader offering, covering many more elements of the Paranormal . The FC's is focused solely on Psychic divination. Other differences are the prize ($2,000,000.00 vs. $1,000,000.00), plus a book publishing contract. In addition, the FC has structured it so that anyone can try and in the event someone succeeds, the sponsor cannot refuse payment.
The Ghost Challenge Intended to prove whether Ghosts truly exist. The current prize is $1,000,000.00 plus a book publishing deal.
The Final Frontier Challenge This challenge is big. The sponsor is looking for new designs in spacecraft and propulsion technology that would enable private citizens to embark on deep space missions. The prizes are broken into three levels ranging from $10,000,000.00 to $20,000,000.00. The sponsor will also fund the construction of the winner's design. This challenge came about as a result of the sponsor feeling that the costs and conditions of entering competitions like the Ansari X PRIZE excluded qualified individuals from participating.
The Alternative Medicine Challenge Intended to determine whether Natural cures for diseases actually work. The prizes are broken into four categories ranging from $1,000,000.00 to $10,000,000.00 (plus marketing of the product) depending on the cure.
The Mystery Estate Challenge This may be one of the most interesting ones on the site. It regards a mystery estate that was left to the first person who could find it. The estate's location is hidden in a series of puzzles and is valued at $20,000,000.00.
The Global Warming Challenge The prize is $10,000,000.00. This one doesn't offer as much as some of the others, but it is definitely a 'hot' topic right now. This challenge, however, seems to be taking a different approach than usual. The sponsor is more or less accepting that Global warming exists, they just want proof that man is causing it.
The Time Travel Challenge This one is pretty straightforward. It is offering $5,000,000.00 to the first person who can prove Time travel is possible.
The UFO Challenge This one is a little different in concept form others that have appeared over the years. The sponsor doesn't want to prove whether Extraterrestrial life but rather, whether they've actually visited Earth .
The Final Say & The Story Of The Week Edit
These areas consist of user submitted stories and editorials. They cover a variety of topics though not necessarily Paranormal ). They often contain some very entertaining submissions.
The FC Awards Edit
The awards were established at the beginning of 2007. They offer a prize of $50,000.00 to the best submission from The Final Say & The Story Of The Week categories.
Unlike other sites, The Final Challenge approaches the Paranormal from a positive rather than a Debunking or Skeptical perspective. They want the challenges on the site to be won. To ensure that no one would ever be embarrassed by their failure, changes were made in 2006 that prevented the releasing of any participants name without their permission.
Noteworthy Facts Edit
The Final Challenge does not allow any challenges to be listed on it's site that have any affiliations with corporate or government entities.
They take no direct compensation from their sponsors.
Their sponsors are not allowed to charge a fee to enter their challenges.
The site does not accept donations of any kind. They believe that it promotes a conflict of interest.
When the $10,000,000.00 Archon Genomics X Prize was announced in October of 2006, they stated that they were announcing the largest medical prize in history. The Alternative Medicine Challenge had been out for one year at that point.
When the $25,000,000.00 Virgin Earth Challenge was announced in February of 2007, The Global Warming Challenge had been in circulation in some form for almost ten years.
As of June 2007 not one single person has attempted to enter a challenge.
The existence of The Final Challenge has never been acknowledged by any media outlet.
In the F.A.Q. section of their website, The Final Challenge addressed criticism regarding the fact they charge an administrative fee of $3.99 in order to serve as a conduit between the sponsors and the challengers. They explained that they receive no direct compensation from the sponsors, however, if the individual thought that $3.99 was too much, they could sign-up for the Lunar Lander Challenge. It costs between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 just to enter and there was no guarantee of participation.
During the course of it’s existence, TFC has posted several Challenges on their website that were directed specifically towards guests who appeared on the Coast To Coast Am program. Neither the guests or the producers have ever responded to any of these Challenges.
August 12, 2007: The Sponsor of the Psychic Challenge offered $1,000,000.00 to anyone who could predict the outcome of the Utah mine disaster. To head off excuses made by people that they don't use their 'powers' for personal gain, a charitable donation of an additional $1,000,000.00 was offered to the families of the miners in the event anyone could predict the outcome.