Magician Gives Back With Trick That Turns Coffee Into Cash for Homeless

A magician who's made a name for himself pranking the unsuspecting is changing his tune this holiday season, turning a magic trick into an act of generosity. The latest video from Rahat Hossain, dubbed “Coffee to Coins for the Homeless,” shows the 25-year-old magician approaching homeless people on the street and offering them a cup of coffee. He then announces he can transform the cup of coffee into a cup of actual money and, by simply shaking the cup back and forth, he does just that — much to the surprise of the group standing in front of him. Posted Monday to Hossian’s YouTube channel, MagicofRahat, the video has already surpassed 430,000 views.

“My favorite part of being a magician is the reaction I get from people,” Hossain tells Yahoo Shine. “I’ve been using magic to prank people, and I want to use magic to help people.”
It took Hossain, who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, two months to master the trick and, earlier this month, he decided to put it to good use on the street in nearby Norfolk, Virginia. To capture the best reactions from the lucky individuals, two cameras were used to shoot the video: A friend shot from across the street to get a wide view, while Hussain donned  sunglasses that contained a hidden camera. The pair drove around the city looking for homeless people to approach, and while the video shows the reactions from just three groups of people, during the three-day shoot Hossain gave away seven cups of coins totaling $100.

According to Hossain, a 2001 television special featuring magician David Blaine performing the same trick inspired his own magical generosity. “At the time I was amazed and baffled that he took an ordinary cup of coffee and did magic, but at the same time he did a good deed,” says Hossain, who has been performing magic professionally since 2008. “I thought that’s magic right there. He just helped somebody out with his talent.”

Hossain tried a similar do-good act this past September when he adapted one of his very first magic pranks, entitled “Drive Thru Fire Wallet.” In the original prank, Hossain went through the drive-through of fast food restaurants, shocking employees when he used a flaming wallet to pay for his meals. This year, he did the same trick for homeless individuals who approached his car to ask for money — and then gave them $100 cash. The video, dubbed “Fire Wallet Prank Homeless Edition,” got 1.3 million views.

While Hossain is excited about how many views his latest act has gotten so far, he isn’t all that focused on the numbers this time around. Says Hossain, “I feel really good about this video, but if it doesn’t do well, I don’t care, because at the end of the day I helped someone out.”  Hossain will be chasing that same feel-good rush in 2014, so expect to see even more kind deeds on his YouTube channel in the new year.