The Unofficial Archives of The Merlin Awards


Tony Hassini - President of the IMS‘The International Magicians Society’ (IMS), headed by Tony Hassini, has been presenting The Merlin Award ever since I’ve been involved in magic. According to the website:

“Every three years, the International Magicians Society hosts a banquet dinner, where those magicians who have achieved the highest level in their craft are awarded the coveted Merlin Award. The voting members begin with approximately one hundred names and narrows down to a handful. The criteria that the voting members consider are talent, showmanship, originality, skills, and above all the rare ability to entertain under any conditions.”

As the awards are given out pretty much consistently throughout the year, every year, this statement has always puzzled me. So the real criteria as to how The Merlin Awards are presented remains a mystery.

However, after intensive research, and with information contributed by Mr Hassini himself, we are slowly compiling a comprehensive list of Merlin Award winners.

Criss Angel with 5 of his Merlin Awards

After enormous ongoing research we are finally able to bring you a comprehensive, though constantly updated, list of who won what and when.

Browse through our Awards Year by Year, check out the Frequently Asked Questions, and marvel at the Controversy.

Don’t forget to take a look through our Unknown list – you just may be able to fill in a missing link!

But most of all be amazed at what has been called “the best promoted and least respected awards in magic.”


UPDATE – OCT 2021: We’ve just become aware of a “24 Karat Gold Merlin Award” which will be presented to the winner of ‘The IMS World Championships of Magic’. When is it? Your guess is as good as mine. Click THIS LINK and try to figure it out!


UPDATE – NOV 2013: Over the last two years so many Merlins have been handed out and issued as magic competition prizes that it is simply impossible to keep up. There are some listed at the IMS site 2012 listing2013 listing , but there are many, many more distributed without even a mention.


STOP PRESS: Tony has just added a Merlin Award FAQ page here. He explains why the Merlin Awards are not listed with either category or date:

“Sometimes, I am asked why don’t we publish the year and category for each magician’s Merlin Award on our website. The fact is that when the magician receives his award, during the press conference, we announce the category. Thereafter, it serves no purpose to publish the category or the year on our website. Because some categories might sound more glorious than the others, there’s no point of hyping or diminishing anyone’s award or the year they received it. And there’s no point in dating their awards either. The bottom line is everyone who received the Merlin Award is a Merlin Award Recipient period and is entitled to enjoy the glory for the rest of their life without dating or categorizing it.”


VIDEO CLIP: Mr Hassini chatting with Hamner and Barber on their Branson podcast show