Ellen: Magician Justin Willman Bald Dollar Bill & Cupcake Trick


Ellen: Magician Justin Willman

Maybe you’ve seen Justin Willman as host of the reality competition series Cupcake Wars. But did you know he is an accomplished magician?

He had a few tricks up his sleeve for Ellen DeGeneres and her audience. For his first trick, he borrowed a dollar from an audience member named Bonnie.


Ellen: Justin Willman Magic Tricks

Can you believe that Justin Willman made George Washington's portrait bald in a magic trick? (Image Credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com)

Justin Willman Bald Dollar Bill Trick

He had Ellen scrawl her signature on the dollar bill, and pointed out George Washington’s hairstyle. He used the dollar bill to prove that George Washington wore a wig.

Justin folded the dollar, pulled a cotton ball out of the folds, and re-folded the dollar to reveal a bald George Washington. It was the same dollar with Ellen’s signature in the same spot. How did he do that?


Ellen: How Justin Willman Became a Magician

Justin brought out a deck of cards and told the story of how he broke both his arms at the same time. He was riding his bike while rolling roller blades, and he ended up flying over the handlebars. He had casts on both arms for six months.

For physical therapy to regain his dexterity, Justin’s doctor recommended magic, and that is how he got started with the hobby. That’s a great story, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s part of a trick or distraction.

Justin Willman Card Trick

Ellen picked a card out of Justin’s deck and showed it to the audience. It was the 4 of diamonds, and Justin had Ellen tear it into unequal pieces.

He had Ellen drop the pieces of the card into a sack. He then said he would make the pieces disappear from the bag and reappear somewhere impossible. He did manage to make all the pieces but one disappear.

Justin Willman Cupcake Card Trick

Then he had Ellen check her back left pocket for the other pieces. “It’s not there,” Ellen reported.

“That would’ve been awesome, though,” Justin said. He pulled out a box of cupcakes from his day job on Cupcake Wars and gave Ellen a red velvet cupcake to slice into.

Inside the cupcake was a wadded up 4 of diamonds, completed by the single missing piece Justin dropped earlier.

How Do Magic Tricks Work?

Sleight of hand is fascinating, and you could spend hours thinking about how these illusions work. But since there’s nothing wrong with a little mystery, so I solemnly promise not to Google how he did these tricks.

However, I can’t stop anyone from revealing the secrets in the comments section.



  1. Jonathan Panoff says

    The 4 of diamonds in the cupcake trick relies on knowing what card is to picked. This is accomplished with a trick deck which has half the cards being the 4 of diamonds but slightly shorter than the other half of the deck. Thus when u drop the cards the 4 of diamonds will ALWAYS be the top card of the bottom cut. Working back from the cupcake you can work out how the rest is done.

  2. Jonathan Panoff says

    The magic tweet trick I suspect involves a wireless printer in the box and an accomplice back stage sending the data to it as the audience members fill in the gaps

  3. Jonathan Panoff says

    For the george Washington trick if u observe closely in one shot u see the front of the note and then in the next it is the back shown. This suggests a note swap and/or some kind of folding as well

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