Las Vegas multimillionaire offers $1m for answering whether there is life after ...

A maverick Las Vegas multimillionaire fascinated by extraterrestrials and space is offering $1 million in prizes for answers as to whether there is life after death.

Robert Bigelow, 75, founded the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies in June.

On Monday they announced an essay competition, for scientists with a track record in the field of neurology and psychology.

Entrants must submit by August 1 a 25,000 word thesis on whether existence continues once your body dies.

A panel of academics and medical scientists will judge the entries, with the winner announced on November 1.

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Robert Bigelow, 75, is searching for answers to whether there is life after death

Robert Bigelow, 75, is searching for answers to whether there is life after death

'It may matter what you do while you're here,' Bigelow told The New York Times, explaining why he felt there was a moral imperative for the competition. 

'It could make a difference on the other side.' 

Bigelow has had a fascination in the paranormal and out-of-body experiences since he was a child.

He told the paper how, when he was two, his grandparents had a mysterious experience while driving at night near Las Vegas which left them deeply shaken.

The year was 1947, when something shiny crashed into the New Mexico desert, sparking UFO theories.

Bigelow said that a glowing object flew toward his grandparents and filled their windshield, terrifying them before darting off. 

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They were late getting back home and so shaken, that 'my grandfather couldn't drive a car for a while.' 

Bigelow, asked what he thought delayed them in returning home, said: 'they wouldn't talk about it.'

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