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How to Win the Burning Match Bet

Learn how to win the burning match bar bet with this Howcast video.


Simon: Peter, my friend.

Peter: Yes.

Simon: Lovely to see you back at the bar.

Peter: Of course.

Simon: Do you know what I've been noticing about you just lately?

Peter: How handsome I am?

Simon: I actually have beautiful Jillian.

Peter: Okay, touche.

Simon: You do look tough. You look like a man of action. You look like a man who can stand pain.

Peter: Yeah, I can.

Simon: This is odd, Jillian. Do you know, I did a show for some special forces people.

Jillian: Okay.

Simon: Yeah. They're very interesting, if somewhat sociopathic, strange people. But they had these tests where you can stand pain and the more you can stand the pain the better it is. Here's one of the tests they did. They would take a match and do a test. They'd light the match and hold it upside down and see how many seconds they could hold it for counting.

You know, one, two, three, four, five. They taught me the special forces technique for holding the match. They'd hold the match upside down and the flame flickering around their fingers and they had to count, one, two, three. The longer they could hold the match the better their score was. Peter, you look like a tough guy.

Peter: Yeah.

Simon: You look like a violent, strange man. I'm going to ask you to light a match and then there's no trick on this one, I promise.

Jillian: OK.

Simon: I know I've tricked you guys before. No trick on it. You hold it upside down, you count. I don't want you to burn yourself. When you're feeling a little burnt, please blow out the match and drop it.

Peter: Okay.

Simon: I don't want you to hurt yourself, but I'm prepared to bet you that however long you can hold it, I can hold it four times longer than you can. I'm talking a lit match. No gloves. No tricks. Just a lit match.

Peter: All right, I'll try it.

Simon: You do realize, of course, it's going to cost you five bucks.

Peter: Five drinks.

Simon: A drink is five bucks, so five bucks or a drink. There you go, my friend.

Peter: All right.

Simon: Just normal matches.

Jillian: Be careful.

Simon: I'm not going to mess you up, but please don't hurt yourself.

Peter: All right. Here we go.

A: Children at home, by the way if you are going to try this, don't do this at home. Wait until you get to school. They've got nurses there.

Jillian: Yeah.

Peter: Here we go.

Simon: There you go. Holding it upside down. One, two.

Peter: I couldn't do it.

Simon: You got to two.

Peter: That was hard. Yeah, two.

Simon: Nicely done there. A count of two.

Peter: It's hard.

Simon: How about if I can get to a count of twenty?

Peter: I mean, I'd love to see it. I don't believe it.

Jillian: Yeah.

Peter: Twenty seconds? I could barely do...

Simon: Gina, get ready at the bar there for more drinks down here, darling. I didn't say you had to hold it still. Here's the secret. You circle your hand. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, 12, 13... I think I made my point.

Peter: Yeah. You got me.

Simon: And that's how you win a match bet with just a little bit of circular logic.

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