Debunking Mystery Ventures & A $50,000 Prize

For our first video essay, we present an investigation of Mystery Ventures.

We looked into this dubious puzzle competition with a $50,000 prize that allegedly starts in a week. Here’s what we found:

And we share a few thoughts on what we get out of solving puzzles.

Thank you to the folks in the Escape Room Slack for helping investigate this. Thank you, especially to Anthony Hoover from Cypher House Escape.


  1. I enjoyed the essay. I have a soft spot for people/programs that do the work of exposing scammers and cheats. Thank you.

    For me, a 5 min presentation a la Andy Rooney would be the preferred way to watch video on a subject of interest. Material that cannot be digested in 5 minutes warrants written copy or part 2, part 3 for those who want all the information in video format and cannot read faster than watching someone talk. It’s the difference of a 60 minutes segment vs a short commentary. Smaller bites are easier to commit to watching but may not be for all topics, I understand.

    Anyway, keep ’em coming.

    1. Thanks for the feedback David.

      We are going to continue to explore all sorts of different video content at different lengths.

      This one absolutely could have been shorter, and on rewatch, I keep seeing things I’d like to change. Our video editing skills are not yet at the level of our text editing skills. We’ll get there… it’s gonna be a journey.

  2. Very enjoyable. I 99% agree with your comment that you won’t get rich solving puzzles, but it’s fun to remember and celebrate the (admittedly few) contests that have paid out considerable jackpots without controversy; the Eternity Puzzle, David Blaine’s Mysterious Stranger and Perplex City all paid out cleanly enough over the years.

    1. For sure, however there was a person who identified themselves behind those.

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