Derren Brown Lottery – How It Was Really Done

Derren sadly disappointed on this one – his ‘How To Win The Lottery’ show actually failed to deliver on the fundamental promise made…

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Derren Brown Lottery – How It Was Really Done

27 Comments so far ↓

  • Emma

    It wasn’t a cheap camera trick? He put heavier balls in the machine, so they would fall out first.

    I was looking round on the internet to see what the BBC said about this, surely they need some kind of repayment from C4? And what about people who bought lottery tickets? I’d expect they’d want a refund.

  • sc

    Strange the way Derren didn’t let the group of 24 people see the numbers… why? It’s not as if they are gonna go out and buy a ticket as the time had long past to buy one… And strange that he picked a guy to do the adding and averaging in the previous round… someone who is in on it with Derren and just says the numbers to make it look like the (the group) picked 4 winning numbers. And still don’t know why he had that 2nd cameraman in the lottery draw, never used a shot from him at all…

    I think its like people are saying, that the screen was spilt allowing to have the numbers switched (which is why he didn’t show the group)… and like Derren says, “people can try it at home…” but he and Camelot knows it was just a fake setup so they have nothing to be worried about millions of people coming up hitting the jackpot – cuz it ain’t never going to work cuz it never did!

    Good entertainment though… what a joker.

  • Colin

    I agree entirely. The dead give away was that he suddenly did the last calculations himself and never revealed the result. The truth is that all “Predictive” magic is done after the result is revealed and is usually a simple piece of sleight of hand, or sleight of split screen digital camera technology in this case.

    Also interesting that he listed the “Only” three ways the trick could be done at the end (not the case at all) as a further piece of misdirection.

  • Overkill

    LOL, a system for the lottery that works? Only a fool would believe that!

    It’s a shame he didn’t say how he changed the ping pong balls to the right numbers (like he said he was going to). Of course if he had really predicted the numbers he would have revealed them just before the numbers were drawn.

  • Paul Wisdom

    The room of 24 people is easy to explain. Derren does the lottery show, then goes into the room with the 24 people and does the final adding up. He ignores the results and writes the actual lottery numbers on the board, and leaves the room and they are then shown a video of the lottery show which they think is live – but actually it was recorded a little earlier.

  • Felicity

    On Wednesday night, as many viewers have suggested, the live show used automated camera movement and split screen technology to achieve the effect. The second camera was used to film an alternative view of the ‘ball switch’, which was intended for use on Friday nights programme. Keep in mind that the brief cutaway to the second camera was actually pre-recorded footage, designed to give the impression that the main camera was manually operated.

    In the hours that followed the show, both the production team and alert viewers noticed that one of the ‘lottery balls’ moved slightly during the split screen fade. This critical error proved to be virtually impossible to explain, so an updated plan was hatched.

    In its original form, Derren would have taken us through the ‘group prediction’ theory until the big finale when he would have discounted it and revealed the ’split screen’ method. The point of this was not the prediction itself, but a means of showing how, under the right conditions, a group of people can be persuaded to believe in a seemingly impossible system. A willingness to succeed can be a very powerful tool.

    In an attempt to deflect attention away from the ‘moving ball’ problem, Derren moved quickly to discount any of the technological theories thus reinforcing the idea of a more ‘psychological’ explanation. Of course, the programme failed to explain how we, the general public, could have possibly arranged either of the given methods.

    So, on Fridays show, the original ’split screen’ explanation was replaced with the ‘fix the machine’ proposition, thereby ’side-stepping’ the whole issue of ‘ball switching’ and leaving the majority of the audience totally perplexed. This was seen as a preferable conclusion as the only alternative was to admit that the live illusion had failed. It’s also highly likely that the post prediction trailer which featured Derren holding a snowflake was actually intended to offer a clue to the ‘frozen screen’ method employed to achieve the ‘ball switch’, but due to the ‘ball movement’ problem, no mention of this was made during Friday night’s show. Additionally, the ‘fix the machine’ option was originally intended to feature not the lottery machine, but the afore mentioned automated camera system.

  • Conor

    Ask 24 to guess a number from one to (say) 50, and the resulting distribution will necessarily peak somewhere in the middle. Some will pick high, some will pick low, so the result of his suggested averaging must lie close to the middle. The only way have an average of 1, say, if if all 24 pick “1”. This is unlikely. Therefore the scheme cannot work – to predict the lottery all 24 somehow have to pick the right number – which is contrary to “wisdom of crowds”, where the average view is close to being correct. All misdirection and nothing to do with the 24 pickers.

  • Terry

    It would be a minor miracle for the average of all 6 of the numbers picked to be exactly divisable by 24…

    So Derren rounds them up or down then.

    Well, to get the number 2 (as he did), no more than 2 of the 24 people could predict higher that 19.

    If 2 people picked number 19 and the other 22 picked number 1, it would add up to 60.

    60 divided by 24 = 2.5

    Then it would have to be rounded down to get to number 2.

    Even if he rounded down (and not up) everytime, no more than 2 people could have a number above 24.

    Out of 49 balls there are twenty five that are higher than number 24 and twenty three lower…

    Out of 24 people writing numbers i’d say the chances of at least three people not writing a number somewhere between 25 and 49 are very slim.

    Possible but very highly unlikely.

  • conor

    @terry
    I agree entirely. And if the system requires 24 people to essentially guess the right number, why do you need 24 – one would do. All misdirection…

  • DerekH

    SC wrote “And still don’t know why he had that 2nd cameraman in the lottery draw, never used a shot from him at all…”

    That’s because it *was* a split-screen camera trick (there’s a super “reveal” on YouTube showing how it was done), and the “second cameraman” was actually the guy who put the numbered balls on the stand in the seconds between the numbers coming out, and being sorted into numerical order…

    The reason why it was filmed in an empty studio is all the more obvious – if there was an audience they would have instantly seen how it was done.

    The more one looks at this, the more crystal clear it becomes 🙂

    And the reason Derren Brown didn’t do the reveal is that he wants to do the same trick in another country or two to puff up his wallet 🙂

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