ForumsClub CCIn The News How did magician Derren Brown correctly predict the lottery result? British magician Derren Brown last night stunned the nation by correctly predicting the result of the National Lottery. There are several games that you can play in the National Lottery, including Lotto, Lotto Hotpicks, Thunderball and Dream Number. Derren managed to correctly guess the six Lotto numbers in last night's draw - 2, 11, 23, 28, 35, 39.
He wrote down the six winning balls of the Midweek Lotto Draw hours before they were randomly chosen by the machine .
He claimed he had written down his predictions on six white balls earlier in the day which were turned back to front from the audience because Camelot had allegedly said only the BBC could reveal the lottery result. The chances of correctly guessing all six numbers, and therefore winning the jackpot, are 14 million-to-one.
Needless to say, Camelot, who run the lottery, banned Derren from buying a lottery ticket for last night's game. Since it started in 1994, the National Lottery has given away more than ?20 billion in good causes. Britain was awash with speculation today about how magician Derren Brown managed to predict the National Lottery results before the big draw last night. Either way, the internet was soon flooded with ideas - from the rational to the crackpot - as to how Derren found the secret to lottery fortune. The illusionist seemingly wrote down the six winning balls of the Midweek Lotto Draw hours before they were randomly chosen by the machine. Seemingly overcome by much nervous excitement he then watched the lottery draw on a TV screen and, seconds later, turned round his white balls to reveal they were exactly the same as the numbers he'd copied from the TV screen on to a piece of white card: 2, 11, 23, 28, 35 and 39. His seemingly incredible feat was broadcast from a small studio live on Channel 4 at the same time as the BBC1 screened its Midweek Lotto programme at 10.35pm - dispelling any rumours that the show was pre-recorded. It is the latest seemingly implausible stunt the illusionist has performed in front of a live audience. Previous TV shows have seen him apparently play Russian roulette with a gun as well as contact the dead, while he has also toured the country performing live shows claiming to read audience members' minds. Before the screening had ended theories were flitting across the internet as to just how he could have achieved this remarkable feat. One rumour suggested that Brown was able to see winning numbers through a link to the BBC draw a few moments before they were broadcast live enabling him to quickly write the correct numbers down before they were broadcast to the audience. Another rumour suggested that an assistant was writing down the correct numbers as the balls were being drawn. Another slightly more dubious theory speculates that the illusionist has studied the lottery machine and realised that there is a problem that makes certain numbers more probable.
What is certain is that Brown would have walked away with ?2.4million if he had actually bought a lottery ticket with those six numbers - there were no jackpot winners for last night's draw.
Experts have pointed out that past stunts of his have involved sleight of hand, behind-the-scenes trickery and psychological manipulation. However magicians have remained tight-lipped as to how Brown may have achieved this particular trick.
Graham Harper, of the Nottingham Guild of Magicians, said he was flummoxed by the 'awesome spectacle'. He said: 'I sat and watched that with three other magicians and none of us can fathom how he pulled that off. Before the show, Brown said: 'I realise there are a lot of questions this brings up, and I hope they'll be answered on the Friday night show.
Camelot, the lottery operator, said that Brown's trick would not interfere with the results. We know this wasn't pre-recorded (although check out Theory 4) as we saw the live BBC feed, and we have been assured the lottery footage wasn't delayed. The BBC were nervous about his act - previously blocking him from doing a similar show on their own channels - and would be unlikely to have a hand in the illusion. This would allow a helper, invisible to the viewer, to scribble the numbers on the balls down as they are drawn. The camera was, judging by the shaking image, hand-held, which seems to rule this out, but there is one 'cutaway' one minute into the broadcast, which some viewers have speculated allowed some camera tricks to take place. Likelihood: Slight, Derren has eschewed technological wizardry in past acts, and such a simple trick would likely be beneath his ways, or seen as cheating.

If the helper was under the podium, they could write the numbers on the balls without being seen by the viewers. If they were behind the television, they could pass the balls to Derren when he leans in to switch off the television. A further theory is that the whole back-wall is a painting, placed just a foot or two behind the podium. If so, it is most likely they hid behind the podium and scribbled the numbers on the balls directly, as there seems no opportunity - in our freeze-frame world - of Derren replacing the six balls without being spotted. One theory, favoured by the Mail Online's science editor, is that the white lottery balls have an e-ink screen to instantly translate the right numbers on to the balls.
As the lottery was called, the numbers could be translated wirelessly to the balls, which have a screen embedded in them, similar to how some mp3 players appear to have invisible screens until text is displayed.
Other variations on this theory include a distant inkjet 'firing' the numbers on to the balls from a distance, but this is likely to be too complex with a high-risk of failure to be taken seriously. However this theory comes back in to play if there is a false wall just a foot or two behind the podium, as ink could then be shot directly onto the balls.
Also, Derren promises 'we can try this at home' in the future, so this makes us lean more towards sleight-of-hand trickery. However this theory can be kicked right into touch - with nearly 14million possible combinations, Derren would have needed to start filming before he was born - and we'd quickly notice if Derren turned into a teenager while reading the results.
And there would also be a noticeable video 'cut' between Derren's live recording and a cut to a pre-recorded segment. A feature of Derren's shows is, when he reveals his methods, to replay footage from earlier in the show where, with hindsight, it is easy to spot the joins.
First off, it is likely that some of Derren's 'facts' at the start of the show were more to heighten the illusion. Fair enough, but why should that stop him showing us what was only - at this point - a prediction? More likely - despite his prostestations - is that there was no prediction before the draw, and the numbers appeared on the balls only after they had been called. What is worth noting is Derren's frantic, on-edge persona, which is a way to add drama to an act that, in likelihood, has been planned to such a degree that the outcome is inevitable. As such, the audience skirts over his blabbering on, but it is likely some of his words will be replayed tomorrow night with more significance. At the start of the video, Derren tells us there are two cameramen, but we only see through one camera - except for one brief moment after one minute. Some watchers believe they can spot something up Derren's sleeve while he writes down the numbers, they also wonder if he is passed six numbered balls as he goes to turn off the television at the end of the trick - possibly because of a well-painted backdrop masking someone standing behind the television.
It would be dangerous to put our name to one theory or the other, especially with the reveal only a day away.
But one thing we can be sure of is that Derren is not magic, supernatural or mystical - or if he is, he's still keeping it to himself. At some point during the ten seconds between the results being announced and Derren turning the podium around, the numbers appear on the balls. Have you ever felt that your life was unraveling, that everything that you had planned and for which you had worked was coming apart at the seams?  I never dreamt that it could happen to me – but it did! Let me tell you a story.  But first, let me say that my story has a happy ending, because I discovered a solution that helped me regain my life and exceed my dreams. The details of the story that I am about to reveal to you begin in November, 2008.  I was an early victim of the Great Recession that many people, perhaps yourself included, are feeling the effects of to this day. Losing my job came out of the blue, completely catching me off-guard.  My wife Molly was a stay-at-home mom, caring for our two young children, and I was now unemployed at what seemed to me to be the worst possible time! With just two weeks of severance pay and waiting for unemployment benefits to kick in, I was desperate.  The fact that the Holidays were rapidly approaching only added to my level of anxiety.
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He managed to correctly guess the six numbers before they were drawn out live on television. These are called Merlin, Arthur, Galahad, Vyvyan, Lancelot, Garnet, Topaz, Opal, Amethyst, Moonstone, Pearl and Sapphire.
Or was it simply a sleight-of-hand that will leave us smacking our foreheads with our palms when he reveals his method tomorrow? With the right-hand of the screen showing a live shot of Derren, whereas the left-hand-side is a pre-recorded snapshot of an empty podium. Also, introducing a split-screen on a bouncing visual is beyond the means of anything that doesn't come with a Holllywood budget. For instance there could be a backdrop hanging from the television, or the podium, painted to match the far walls, behind which a helper could sit and scribble the numbers on the balls. The works of 3D artists such as Kurt Wenner, who has been featured before in the Mail, show that it is possible to produce perception-bending realistic backdrops. Again, Derren does not like to use high-tech gadgetry to pull off a trick, so this is likely to be a 'no-no'. From statistical analysis of which numbers are 'bound' to come up soon, to using the sun, moon and stars (and your birth date) to find the right combination, you can buy a dozen such 'fool-proof' systems over the internet for a fiver. It would have been a lot more incredible to see the six numbers on-screen before the live draw. Why did he tell us there was a 'close-up there so you can see no travelling going on' - when there was no such close-up? The big question is how, and it is one we will keep wondering until tomorrow night on Channel 4 at 9pm.
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Is Derren's 'woooah' sound a few seconds earlier an indication that the switch has been made?

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