## Easy Magic Trick: The Mental Prediction

Maskot / Getty Images

This is an old classic that is based on a quirk in mathematics. It’s an easy magic trick that has something of a mentalism effect.

In a prediction effect, you appear to predict the future. In magic or mentalism, the prediction is typically a parameter––word, number, event, or the result of a random compilation––that spectators have come together to form. Sometimes, the prediction is something that only a spectator might know.

In this routine, which is a mathematical-based prediction, a series of seemingly random mathematical processes are applied to a freely named number, and the magician proves to have known in advance the final result.

### How to Perform the Magic Number Prediction Trick

Write “Elephants in Denmark” on a piece of paper. Fold this up and keep it with you. Next, read the following to your spectator or audience, giving them time to make the necessary calculations:

- Pick a number between two and nine. It can be two or it can be nine, or any number in between.
- Take the number that you’ve chosen and multiply it by nine.
- This should give you a two-digit number. Take the two digits of the number and add them together. For example, if your number is 16, take the one and six and add them to make seven.
- Take the resulting number and subtract five from it.
- Take that number and correspond it to a letter in the alphabet. A=1, B=2, C=3, etc.
- Take your letter, and think of a country that begins with that letter. For example, “B” might make you think of Brazil, “D” could be Denmark or “F” could be France.
- Take the second letter in the name of that country and think of an animal. For example, “P” may make you think of a penguin and “Z” may make you think of zebra.
- Do you now have a country and animal?
- Hold that thought in your mind while I concentrate. (Pause here for a moment, make it look like you’re thinking).
- Say, “I didn’t know that there were elephants in Denmark.”
- Bring out your folded prediction and show that you were right.

For fun, you can carry pictures that suggest elephants in Denmark. This way, instead of simply writing down “elephants in Denmark,” you can show a picture that will create a stronger impact.

You can also perform this as a mind-reading stunt. At the end of the instructions, you ask the spectator to think about the final image and then you tell him.

### How It Works

The sequence presented in this trick is seemingly random and combines elements of math, the alphabet, and freely named elements suggested by the results of prior steps. When you study the steps, you’ll find that the mathematical procedure will always result in the same number, four. This is because any single-digit number multiplied by nine will result in a special two-digit number.

Add the individual digits of these two-digit numbers together and you’ll always get nine. And, of course, when you subtract five from nine, you’ll arrive at four.

Try to think of a country that starts with the letter D and most will probably come up with Denmark. There’s a slight chance that a spectator may come up with the Dominican Republic or Djibouti, but this is unlikely. That said, should the wrong country be named, the jig is up. As a last resort and saving grace, you can state that you knew that the letter would be D.

Ask anyone to name an animal that starts with the letter E and an elephant is sure to be the first that comes to mind. Since this is so obvious, some may try to think of something more obscure such an eel, but should this happen, at least you can show that you were able to predict Denmark and that the second letter was E.

This is an old classic, a prediction, which is based on a quirk in mathematics but it appears as if you have ESP!

## How to Do a Simple Number Mind Trick

Last Updated: April 10, 2020

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 27 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.

This article has been viewed 414,319 times.

Amaze your friends and relatives with these number-based mind tricks. These three tricks are arranged from easiest to hardest (smallest numbers to biggest). Even young kids can do the simple number prediction trick. [1] X Research source

Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it’s keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. Amid the current public health and economic crises, when the world is shifting dramatically and we are all learning and adapting to changes in daily life, people need wikiHow more than ever. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today.

### Related wikiHows

- ↑http://thinkmath.edc.org/resource/algebraic-thinking
- ↑https://www.umassmed.edu/bsrc/tricks/
- Age guessing adapted from http://www.learn-with-math-games.com/math-number-tricks.html
- Magical 37 adapted from http://www.pleacher.com/mp/puzzles/tricks/nums.html

### About This Article

If you want to amaze your friend with a simple mind trick, first, tell them that you’re going to ask them to do some simple math and you’ll read their mind the whole time. Next, pretend to think hard for a moment, write the number 3 on a piece of paper, and fold it up so no one sees what you wrote. Once your secret answer is written down, ask your friend to pick a number and write it down so you can’t see. Then, instruct them to add 1 to that number. After adding 1, ask your friend to multiply the answer by 2. Then, tell them to add 4 to their last answer. At this point, put your hands to your head and pretend to use your magic powers before asking them to divide their total by 2. After they’ve divided it, have them subtract their original number from the last answer they got. Finally, ask them to announce the number they got and reveal the original piece of paper, as they should both be 3. For more tips, like how to guess someone’s age, read on!

Amaze your friends and relatives with these number-based mind tricks. These three tricks are arranged from easiest to hardest (smallest numbers to biggest). Even young kids can do the simple number prediction trick.http://thinkmath.edc.o…