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EFF Cooperative Computing Awards Rules

Your e-mails about the awards program may be automatically deleted or ignored if they are missing required information described in this rules page!

Please Read This First

EFF has already received and rejected hundreds of incorrect or deficient claims (and only two valid claims, in more than a decade). Most people who claim they won the prize did not. It is extremely unlikely that you found a large enough prime unless you used many years of computer time to search for it. But if you did find a large prime, you will need to read and follow the rules carefully.

Everyone interested in this contest must and follow all of the rules before submitting a claim. Please note especially:

WE ARE NOT A MATHEMATICS RESEARCH ORGANIZATION AND ARE NOT INVOLVED IN PROMOTING OR EVALUATING NEW MATHEMATICS RESEARCH. Although this award relates to discovering prime numbers, the work of our organization is not directly related to primality testing or number theory. The existence of this contest does not mean that we are prepared, or qualified, to help examine, promote, or apply new mathematics ideas. We are not.

There is no award available for the discovery of a mathematical technique, algorithm, or theorem. We will not offer a payment or reward for the discovery of a mathematical technique, unless that technique is used to determine a specific prime number in compliance with all the other rules below. New discoveries in number theory or other branches of mathematics should be directed to an appropriate forum, but we are unable to provide any reward for them or any evaluation of their merits.

There is no award available for merely knowing how to find or test for large prime numbers. Methods for finding large prime numbers have been known for many years; however, all known methods require substantial amounts of computer time (years of computation on current hardware). Our awards require that you find a particular prime number, not simply know a way to find prime numbers. We already have well-proven and well-understood computer programs capable of finding prime numbers — they just take too long to work. Thus, a computer program that would eventually find or verify prime numbers is not, by itself, sufficient to qualify for an award.

There is no award available for a secret proof or discovery. The rules require open publication of a discovery, and this publication must be made prior to the submission of a claim. EFF does not derive any commercial benefit from improvements in number theory and is specifically interested in promoting open publication of research.

This set of awards is intended to spur collaborative computing. In the past, large computations (including factoring and primality testing) have been successfully carried out by teams working together over the Internet to pool their computational resources. These awards are intended to promote the development of this method of performing computations. We consider it unlikely that these awards can be won by an isolated individual without access to specialized equipment or significant computing resources; for decades, the discovery of world-record primes has required the use of supercomputers or Internet collaboration. We consider it unlikely and implausible that these awards can be won by mathematical reasoning alone without electronic computation.

The rules below will not be waived or varied. In particular, submissions that have not yet been validated by peer review will be rejected. EFF does not offer assistance in determining the correctness or incorrectness of a submission. EFF appreciates the creativity of researchers in trying to make progress in number theory and computer science, but asks that researchers respect the fact that our awards have a limited scope and purpose and will not be awarded for other kinds of work, however novel or useful. We are not a mathematics research organization and are not in a position to help validate, evaluate, confirm, publicize, or reward new mathematical research.

For an example of a previous valid, successful claim, see Mersenne Research, Inc.'s 2009 claim for 243112609-1. Note that this claim includes each of the elements required below.

Official EFF Cooperative Computing Award Rules

  1. EFF establishes four computation awards Through the EFF Cooperative Computing Awards, EFF will confer prizes of:
    1. $50,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 1,000,000 decimal digits (awarded Apr. 6, 2000) (i.e., a prime integer > 10⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹)
    2. $100,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 10,000,000 decimal digits (awarded Oct. 22, 2009) (i.e., a prime integer > 10⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹)
    3. $150,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 100,000,000 decimal digits
      (i.e., a prime integer > 10⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹)
    4. $250,000 to the first individual or group who discovers a prime number with at least 1,000,000,000 decimal digits
      (i.e., a prime integer > 10⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹⁹)
    NOTE: Leading zeroes and zeroes after a decimal point don't count toward the number of digits in a prime!

    (Prize money comes from a special donation provided by an individual EFF supporter, earmarked specifically for this project. Prize money does NOT come from EFF membership dues, corporate or foundation grants, or other general EFF funds.)

  2. Only one award will be given per discovery Only one computation award will be granted per prime discovery. In a case where multiple awards apply, the larger award will be granted. For example, if you happen to discover a prime with 1,000,000,000 or more decimal digits before the $150,000 award is claimed, you will be eligible for the $250,000 award only. Once an award is paid out, all other current and future claims become ineligible for that particular award. All awards will be disbursed. If someone receives the $250,000 award for discovering a prime with a 1,000,000,000 or more digits and the $150,000 award has not yet been given out, whoever next discovers a prime with a 100,000,000 or more decimal digits will be eligible for the $150,000 award. In the case where two or more valid claims for the same award are submitted, the valid claim with the earliest verifiable discovery date will be honored.
  3. The primality proof must be a deterministic proof for a distinct integer The claim must be for the primality for a distinct integer. The proof of primality of that distinct integer must be constructive, definitive, reproducible, verifiable and deterministic. Probable-primality proofs are not acceptable. Claims involving probable primes will not be accepted. Your claim must explicitly identify a distinct prime number. For example, claims involving the Mills' Theorem real number or Matijasevic polynomial without providing a specific solution will not be accepted.
  4. Full disclosure is required In the interest of promoting the state of the art of computation, those receiving EFF Computation Awards must allow EFF to freely publish their methods, algorithms, source code, scripts and detailed descriptions of hardware without undue restrictions or costs. EFF's publication of this information is intended give others the opportunity to replicate the discovery, as well as to provide a foundation for improving on the results. Proofs that are "for sale" are not acceptable. EFF will not consider proofs that are proprietary or that are encumbered with restrictions that get in the way of their unrestricted re-distribution.
  5. What to include in your submission Your claim must have each the following 7 items. Please reference each of these 7 items in your claim:
    1. Your claim must indicate the value of the prime number by concise formula or decimal expansion. The EFF reserves the right to require you to provide URL of the decimal expansion of the prime number.
    2. Your claim must include a description of the primality testing method used by those who are claiming the award. This must include the complete primality certificate, which includes all of the necessary information to evaluate and reconstruct the proof. In other words, tell us:
    3. Your claim must include a description of any hardware and software used in the primality test. EFF reserves the right to require a more detailed disclosure. For example, EFF may require evidence that the hardware was used legally, with the owner's permission and support. References to well known hardware and software may be given.
    4. Your claim must indicate the amount of computation time, along with a breakdown by hardware type, that was used in the primality test.
    5. Your claim must provide the date and time in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) of the discovery. Tell us when you first proved the primality of the number that you are claiming.
    6. Your claim must include a citation and abstract of a published paper that announces the discovery and outlines the proof of primality. The paper must already have been published before your claim is submitted. The cited paper must have been published in a refereed academic journal with a peer review process that is approved by EFF. We strongly recommend that you submit your paper to an appropriate refereed academic journal of one of the following societies:

      Note that not all publications of the above societies are appropriate refereed academic journals. Questions about the appropriateness of a journal should be directed to the EFF computation award question address (see rule #9 below).

      IMPORTANT: The EFF will reject any claim that fails to provide a citation and abstract of a published paper that announces the discovery and outlines the proof of primality. We do not have the resources to evaluate the correctness of claims on our own, and we are not a mathematical research organization and are not soliciting ideas or discoveries about mathematics. We are not in a position to evaluate or help publicize mathematical ideas or discoveries.

    7. Your claim must provide a single point of contact, including an e-mail address, postal address and phone number where EFF can contact you regarding the claim. In the case of a group effort, you must select an individual with whom EFF will correspond. Providing a URL of a home page is encouraged but not required. EFF reserves the right to require more information should it determine that the information supplied (either in the cited paper or directly as part of the claim) is unsubstantiated. EFF also reserves the right to require independent verification of any information supplied (see below).
  6. Verification of a claim If your claim is missing any of the required elements, it may be summarily rejected and not considered further. This may also make you ineligible to submit further claims under rule 7. EFF reserves the right to require a claim to be verified by independent experts of its choosing. Failure to fully cooperate with the EFF-selected experts will result in your claim being rejected.
  7. Lump sum payment will be made to a single point of contact Should EFF grant an award, the award funds will be paid in a lump sum to an individual or organization as directed by the point of contact. It is the responsibility of the receiving individual or organization to pay any and all applicable taxes. In the case of a group discovery, it is the responsibility of the receiving individual or organization to distribute the award.
  8. EFF board is the final authority The decisions of the EFF board of directors in granting or refusing a claim are final. EFF reserves the right to reject all claims by any individual or group which has previously submitted false or insufficient claims.
  9. Where to send claims To make a claim, send an e-mail message containing the required information to:
    DO NOT WRITE TO THIS ADDRESS UNLESS YOU HAVE ALREADY READ AND UNDERSTOOD THIS ENTIRE PAGE'S CONTENTS! DO NOT SEND UNPUBLISHED MATHEMATICAL RESEARCH IDEAS OR HYPOTHESES TO THIS ADDRESS.coop-award-claim@eff.orgDO NOT WRITE TO THIS ADDRESS UNLESS YOU HAVE ALREADY READ AND UNDERSTOOD THIS ENTIRE PAGE'S CONTENTS! DO NOT SEND UNPUBLISHED MATHEMATICAL RESEARCH IDEAS OR HYPOTHESES TO THIS ADDRESS. The e-mail message must have a subject containing the following words in the following order:
    cooperative prime number award claim

    IMPORTANT: Failure to use a proper subject in your claim related e-mail may result in your e-mail being ignored!

    It is the responsibility of those claiming the award to ensure that the e-mail is sent in a timely way. EFF is not responsible for lost or delayed e-mail. EFF is not responsible for claims that were ignored because the proper e-mail subject was not used.

  10. For more information about the awards
    Questions about the EFF computation awards may be mailed to:

    The e-mail message must have a subject containing the following words in the following order:

    cooperative prime number award question

    Please be sure to use the proper e-mail subject or your question(s) may be ignored!

    Please do not use the above e-mail to ask questions about mathematics. Please do not use the above e-mail to ask us for help in finding or proving the primality of a number. For questions about mathematics, discovering prime numbers and computation, see:

    In addition, see any of the many Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) available on the Web. Ideas and remarks on prime numbers and number theory should be posted to the appropriate newsgroup or sent to the appropriate refereed academic journal.

  11. Updates to the rules EFF reserves the right to make modifications to these rules in order to correct errors, remove ambiguity, and for clarification.
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