The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search(GIMPS) is a a huge internet search for the largest Mersenne prime numbers. The Mersenne Primes are prime numbers that can be written in the form (2^n)-1 and are also the most common type of largest prime number found. In fact 13 out of the 20 largest Prime numbers are Mersenne.

The fascination for finding the “largest” prime number came from the fact that Euclid predicted that there is no largest prime number. It piqued the interest in a group of computer scientists and GIMPS was born.

In 1996, GIMPS commenced operations and started to find large and then even larger prime numbers solely by using the Mersenne approach to prime numbers. Gimps uses a distributed computer process; GIMPS allows users to download the program for free to help find prime numbers. And for added incentive they give out 3000 dollars for anyone who find the current largest prime number within the right parameters of decimal points.

So I am currently looking into signing up on their website and you should too. I mean you could win 3000 dollars for just running a computer program all day. Easy Money.

Link: merseene.org