“The prediction will go inside one FedEx Express envelope inside another FedEx envelope, sealed,” said Eckert. “All the envelopes will be signed by people present. Then we will take it right to the State Farm building on Main Street, which has a wonderful glass display case, and people can walk by and see it all through next week until Feb. 22, the evening of the show.”
When the envelope is opened next Friday, he said, the signatures will all be verified — to ensure no one tampered with the envelopes — before the predictions will be revealed and compared to that day’s edition of the Carroll County Times.
Eckert said this feat is one of the most difficult, and although he does not expect to be 100 percent correct, he does expect to get to at least 70 percent accuracy.
“Headline prediction — predicting not just the news, but what specifically Carroll County Times is going to deem worthy of putting on their front page — it’s probably one of the most difficult things someone in my profession can do,” said Eckert, “because there are multiple variables at play.
“In my close-up work, in my stage shows, I do make a lot of predictions to go throughout the show,” he said. “Those predictions tend to be, while amazing, somewhat easier to make 30 minutes before the show based on a limited set of possible outcomes. For example, a person choosing a card has 1 in 52 possible outcomes. The more variables come into play, the more challenging it becomes — especially once the newspaper becomes aware and it’s in the back of their mind.”
“One of the things that's always on people’s minds, and one of the main themes of the evening, is fate and chance, and how much of our lives are the results of choices we make or something we are destined to do,” Eckert told the Times. “That idea always fascinates me as a mentalist and mindreader.
“We have this idea we have so may free choices,” he said, “and each morning I choose exactly what I'm doing throughout the day. So a prediction of an event is [being] fairly certain decisions of a coming week will follow a certain pattern. Observing news over the last couple of weeks, general trends and patters, now I’ll be able to come pretty close to an actual telling of what will happen on Friday.”