Monday, 14 September 2009

Derren Brown predicted the UK lottery

I'm a fan of UK's trickster Derren Brown, who has for the last few years pulled off a series of spectacular live and TV illusion shows.

Unlike US David Copperfield, Brown debunks much of the craft he presents as entertainment, however he's top of the pops in the UK after a making folk rob a security van in central London last year, faking a woman's death in a road accident before her eyes and even playing live Russian Roulette. He knows how to draw a crowd.

Late last week, he correctly predicted the six winning numbers in the BBC's National Lottery's Live Draw. Camelot, the organisation that manages the lottery, evidently banned Derren from a ticket in the build up to the draw, which had 14 million to 1 odds.

"It is impossible to affect the outcome of the draw and Derren Brown is not suggesting he is doing this," Camelot said. "Derren Brown is an illusionist creating an illusion that he can predict the numbers. We wish Derren, but more importantly our players, the best of luck."

There are three different lottery machines and eight ball sets that are not determined until shortly before the draw. Three million watched the prediction, more than the lottery itself last night.

The lottery stunt was the first in a series of five Friday night shows over the next month on Britain's Channel 4.

1 comment:

Mike K. said...

Brown has said that he pulled it off using mathematical analysis of number chosen by a group of people, supposedly harnessing the power of large crowds. This is, of course, to put it politely, bovine excreta.

A good rule to follow, though, is that if a magician tells you how he did his trick, that's not the way he did it.

The performance was an excellent piece of sleight of hand trickery. If he had actually predicted the numbers, he could have shown them beforehand. Instead, he has postdicted them and come up with a clever means of displaying the numbers.