German city offers €1m reward to anyone who can prove it does not exist as claimed by long-running internet joke
- Bielefeld in Germany is offering €1m to people who can prove it doesn’t exist
- They are ‘99.99% certain’ they can refute any evidence with the help of experts
- Achim Held started the conspiracy theory saying the city doesn’t exist in 1994
- German adults have until September 5 to submit evidence to Bielefeld Marketing
- The city dates back to the ninth century and is home to 340,000 people
A German city is offering a €1million (£914,000) reward to anyone who is able to prove a 25-year-old conspiracy theory that says it doesn’t exist.
Bielefeld dates back to the ninth century, it is home to 340,000 people and the city marketing group is running the competition to disprove the rumour started by an IT student in 1994.
German adults have until September 5 to submit their evidence proving the city doesn’t exist to Bielefeld Marketing GmbH.
Entries can be made using pictures, videos or text but to win, the evidence provided must be indisputable.
Achim Held (pictured) in 1994 started the conspiracy theory that Bielefeld doesn’t exist and the German city is now offering €1 million (£914,000) to anyone who is able to prove it
German adults have until September 5 to submit their evidence proving the city doesn’t exist to Bielefeld Marketing GmbH
The competition organisers said: ‘We are 99.99% certain that we can refute any evidence.’
But they will reward creativity and wit by regularly presenting the best submissions to the public.
If someone does manage to show it doesn’t exist, the prize money will come from Bielefeld Marketing’s sponsors.
The city dates back to the ninth century and is home to 340,000 people and the competition organisers are ‘99.99% certain’ they can refute any evidence with the help of experts
Achim Held, posted a message saying ‘Bielefeld? There’s no such thing’ on Usenet in 1994 (a messaging system before the rise of internet forums) and it spread across the country and became a long-running joke in Germany.
German chancellor Angela Merkel referenced a visit to Bielefeld at a prize-giving event in Berlin in 2012, drawing laughter from the crowd, and said it does exist and she hoped to go there again.
Bielefeld is famously home to Dr Oetker, one of Germany’s biggest food producers.