brown lottery

Derren Brown: Channel 4 star finally speaks out on successfully predicting lottery result

DERREN BROWN – the illusionist who launched his career on Channel 4 with Mind Control – has finally spoken out about the time he was seen successfully predicting the winning National Lottery numbers.

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Derren Brown, 49, has looked back on the time he predicted the National Lottery draw’s numbers back in 2009, which resulted in questions being asked in Parliament about the stunt. The Channel 4 illusionist has now recalled his intentions for the “clever trick” in a new interview.

After the TV favourite successfully predicted the result on his show The Events, the star opened up about what he was hoping to achieve with his move.

He was asked whether he thought he would “undermine” the integrity of the Lottery, and he quickly dismissed the idea: “Noooo! I just thought it would be a fun trick for fans of the show and no one would pay any more attention to that than anything else.”

The star was then asked whether it was a “con” to which he replied: “Well, it was a trick.

“A clever trick,” he said during an interview with this week’s Radio Times.

Derren Brown opens up on clever lottery trick in new interview (Image: PA)

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Derren Brown’s career began with his Channel 4 show Mind Control (Image: PA)


Derren previously suggested he may have used the Wisdom of Crowds method to predict the winning numbers, which received negative criticism.

The Wisdom of Crowds theory indicates that a large group of people making average guesses will eventually guess the correct figure as the average of all their numbers.

Despite this, Camelot, the company that runs the National Lottery, previously praised the star on his smart illusion, but reminded the public that it is “impossible to affect the outcome of the draw”.

Meanwhile, during the chat, Derren spoke out about his sexuality and confessed he lost a lot of his “self-consciousness” after he came out as gay in 2007.

The magician was picked on at his private school in Croydon, and he later became an exhibitionist conjurer to hide his shyness.

Derren Brown addresses ‘clever’ lottery trick which caused controversy (Image: PA)

Derren Brown opens up about homosexuality with Radio Times magazine (Image: Radio Times)

Derren explained: “If you’re uncomfortable with what comes from within you, you create these dazzling surfaces to deflect people’s interest and conversation from the stuff that feels uncomfortable inside.

“And magic is a very good way of doing that,” he added.

“It’s a very controlling and deflecting exercise.

“Once I’d come out, a lot of that self-consciousness went with it.”

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Derren admitted he tried to train himself out of his homosexuality before speaking out 13 years ago.

Elsewhere, Derren revealed his hopes to get involved with other opportunities away from television in the future.

“[I want to do more] writing and painting and all those things I really enjoy,” he said.

“I quite like doing stage work but it’s hard to do stage work if you’re not also doing television because one feeds into the other.

DERREN BROWN – the illusionist who launched his career on Channel 4 with Mind Control – has finally spoken out about the time he was seen successfully predicting the winning National Lottery numbers.

Derren Brown’s lottery trick: what did the explanation reveal?

After appearing to predict the National Lottery result, Derren Brown said he would enlighten us as to how he did it

Derren Brown: will he spill the beans tonight?

Derren Brown: will he spill the beans tonight?

Tonight Derren Brown will reveal how to win the lottery, according to Channel 4 – who have either been a little overambitious in their choice of programme title, or know that Brown is going to unveil something that blows all the laser-printed ball ideas out of the water.

I’ll be here from 9pm to discuss Brown’s explanations and compare them with the solutions put forward over the last couple of days. They have certainly been creative: but according to our poll, the most likely theory is that Brown used some split-screen camera trickery in order to pull off his stunt. There have even been YouTube videos showing how it was done, although admittedly, they weren’t broadcast live to a television audience of almost three million.

It’s unlikely, however, that Brown is going to spend an hour talking about how he had to stand very still in one spot while the footage flicked over, or how nervous the assistant changing the balls was – although, it is not of course not impossible. But if not that, then what? Will it simply be, as many suspect, misdirection intended to throw us off the scent – or has he got something special planned that nobody, not even the those who have been studying Brown’s stunt most closely, will have thought of? Could it even be that Debbie McGee, wearing a cloak of invisibility, writing on the balls, is actually the correct solution. Or is that too much to hope for?

Join me later this evening when we find out.

It’s started – with what some might see as a bit of a disclaimer about whether what he’s going to tell us is true or not. Showmanship, misdirection etc. Hmm.
Aha! See everyone. Those are your theories he’s talking about now. Feel proud people, feel proud .

Also – with apologies – can I just say at this point that due to a technical thing, you are all going to have refresh your pages yourselves, rather than the site automatically doing it for you. Sorry all.

Hello and welcome to tonight’s blog. Here’s how I hope it’s going to work. I’ll give you several updates during tonight’s show, but – given that this is probably going to be a bit more complex than, say, Big Brother – I’m not going to be giving minute-by-minute updates. Hope that sounds sensible to all. There is only so much misdirection and suggestion one woman can record after all. But do keep posting as the show progresses, and we work out what is going on. Or, perhaps more likely, we don’t .

Right. Technical issue sorted. The blog should now refresh itself automatically.
The problem was to predict numbers randomly generated by a machine, Brown says – which he is now illustrating by making a perfectly nice woman feel around in boxes for a mouse. Poor lady.

Ah, so this bit is all about how to predict people, and how fear can increase suggestability. Now Brown is getting a man called Matt to try and avoid stamping on a knife that is hidden under a cup. He’s apparently worked out which number Matt won’t stamp on. Matt has a 70% chance of getting a knife through his foot. I’m not sure I’d take those odds for £500,000 compensation if it goes wrong.

Oooh. Good trick no. (Although I must have misheard the 70% thing, given that it couldn’t make sense at the time). Is it bad to wish that there was a knife actually under the cup? Also, my boyfriend is saying the mouse being there is some sleight-of-hand. Is that true anybody?

Does willpower matter when it comes to tossing heads or tails? Surely not, or cricket captains would be selected on their ability to make the toss the coin, and that doesn’t make sense. Oh I see. The coin isn’t psychic – it’s deep maths. Hmm. Any mathmaticians here? Does this work.

Now we’re onto the wisdom of crowds – and the explainer to Wednesday. Brown got a group of people together to guess which lottery numbers would come up next, and then took the average of their guesses to find the pattern in a random event. I think

So get 24 people together, get them to work out which numbers they think should be drawn, add their answers together and then divide by 24. And that’s the lottery numbers. But only if you don’t do it for profit. Conveniently – given that most people would be doing it for profit, one presumes.

I think it’s probably fair to say that the maths explanation is not really gaining traction on this blog. Mainly because it doesn’t seem to make much sense. Like I think the laser-printed numbers thing probably makes more sense than this.

More dividing numbers going on. And automatic writing. And quite possibly misdirection.

Presumably this is the bit where Brown says what really happened on Wednesday – or at least gives a more plausible explanation of it. Because – and I may be wrong – I’m really not sure that the answer is deep maths.

I wouldn’t exactly say the blog is in revolt. But it’s getting a bit close to it isn’t it. That man who said “all of us believing we could do it has made it happen,” he’s sort of explaining the whole thing there isn’t he. That they believed it but it didn’t necessarily happen

Oh is he going to say he fixed the lottery machine? What? Oh no. It’s a theory.

Sorry, is this some kind of textbook for fixing the lottery? Is this allowed? Camelot must be having kittens. Although the list of things seems to be quite long: weighted balls and hypnotism and inside man etc . I don’t fancy our chances.

And now he’s saying that it was a trick? What? This isn’t cleverness, it’s just not making sense. I’m disappointed. And back to that old split-screen theory too.

So that was the explanation: some deep maths harnessing the power of the crowd. With an odd bit about how you could fix the lottery if you had a lot of kit and an inside man, tacked on the end.
Given the hype, I think Brown possibly had to do better than that. A mathematician might be able to correct us (if you’re out there, and you think this works, do please come and say), but the general feeling on this blog is that it doesn’t stand up. Boo!
But thanks everyone in for joining us in any case. And keep developing those theories.

<p><strong>Vicky Frost:</strong> After appearing to predict the National Lottery result, Derren Brown said he will enlighten us as to how he did it. What did you think of his explanation</p>