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The performer introduces a rather large wooden padlock and five keys. The lock stands a full ten inches tall. "There is nothing unusual about this lock" says the magician, "We just made it big enough so you could see it in the back."
Four volunteers from the audience are asked to help. They are handed all five keys to try in the lock. While all of the keys appear alike, four of them are cut slightly off so they cannot open the lock. Only one key works perfectly. "The other reason these keys are so large is that it make it impossible to do any sleight of hand with them," says the magician. One of the volunteers is asked to secretly mix five envolopes while one is asked to secretly mix all five keys in a paper bag. Another spectator is asked to stand and hold the lock so the audience can see it. The last spectator is asked to donate a hundred dollars to the "cause."
The spectators are then requested to secretly take the keys, one at a time, from the bag and drop them in the envolopes. The magician recaps: "Only one key works. They were mixed by one volunteer and placed in envolopes mixed by another volunteer. There is no way anyone here including myself can tell you where the correct key is." The envolpes are then placed, one at a time, against a numbered board sitting on a thin tray. The volunteers are asked to join the magician on the stage for some fun.
Each of the four spectators is asked to name a number from one to five. The key at that number will be the key they select. Each volunteer then tries their key in the big lock to see if it works. The magicain who is left with the fifth key always opens the lock. If a few hundred dollars is put up as a reward for getting the correct key the magician will always keep his full fee for doing the show since he always opens the lock.
Think of all the effects possible with this device. The instructions list the following effects:
• 2 Predictions Reading Serial Numbers On Borrowed Bills.
• A Memory Feat That Requires No Memory.
• Question And Answer Act
• Torn Card Revelation
• Newspaper Prediction
• E.S.P. effects as well as regular cards.
• Util-A-Prop can be used with or without an assistant.
Also included are four pages of thorough, well written, instructions explaining every possible way this prop can be used