Theory 5 – The insider

September 10, 2009

Derren Brown had somebody working inside the national lottery who texted him the numbers just before. There is a delay of 5 minutes from the transmission to when it actually reaches peoples TV’s – DB’s TV showed what you see but the actual draw happened 5 mins before.



  1. This was definitely my first theory… But Derren seemed to quash it right at the beginning of the broadcast… Maybe that bit was the illusion…

  2. Derren always states that he doesn’t work with accomplices so why would he start now? Anyway isn’t this too obvious a conspiracy theory?

  3. Doesn’t matter!! it was still bloody good TV! lol

  4. Doesn’t matter! It was still bloody good T.V.!!

  5. This would be illegal under UK gambling laws I believe.

  6. Don’t think it would be illegal as its not affecting the result as entry closes half an hour before the draw takes place…

  7. It’s simple really .. he’s god!

    He must be if you think about it?! its the only way our simple, smallish minds can process what he’s done.. he is simply GOD!

    Loved it! can’t wait until fridays show! 🙂

  8. Isn’t the Wednesday draw at the same time as the Saturday one (8pm I think)? I always thought it was drawn then & broadcast later – DB could have watched the draw having agreed with Camelot not to preempt the BBC announcement.

  9. That isn’t Derrens style. You can tell by the giant smile on his face when he gets something correct

  10. If this was just a mutually-beneficial Camelot promotion, he might as well have revealed his prediction a few seconds before it aired.

  11. Nope, dont believe this theory at all, he’s told us that he will show us how it was done on fridays show and there’s no way he can say that he knew the numbers before hand by having to spoken to camelot (doesn’t necessarily mean he was at the studio, could’ve been a phone call). He’s been studying this for a year and it’s most likely got something to do with probabilities of a certain number being selected at a certain time, will be vey interested in seeing how this all plays out….

  12. If he had an insider though, then why would Friday’s show tell everyone how he did it, and how everyone else can give it a try?
    He also said it took him a long time to be able to do it.

  13. Probably the easiest way for Derren to get the information but still doesn’t explain how the numbers got on the balls. If the lottery wasn’t live then easy, but we checked and there was the specific wording on the BBC that it was being shown live, and I believe they’d be breaking regulations if it wasn’t.

  14. As with some of the other serious suggestions, it’s too boring. He stated at the beginning of the program that both channels were (effectively) 100% live. If he was lying he’s going to say he was, and that’s no trick, is it?

  15. Yes, I think this is correct.

    I believe that the delay was necessary for Derren to obtain the results so that he could then perform the clip we saw on TV ‘backwards’ as we’ve also seen him do in his advertisements for this show.

    So he first films – in reverse – the revelation of his prediction and the results. Then walks backwards to the TV set, turns it on, we see the results show – but it’s actually the show being shown again, backwards. He never actually writes on the paper he has – because it of course already has the results written on it.

    The work to do this would be immense but I’m convinced this is the correct solution. His advertisements even tease at this as the solution. In one ad, there’s a billboard for ‘http://www.retsehcnamdetinu.com/

    Go there and it’s a ManU site all backwards! Click on that and you get another ad for the show.



  16. This was my first guess, then I started leaning toward the camera trick idea. Now, as obvious a theory as it sounds, I’m starting to come back.

    As for UK Gambling rules regarding insiders etc, Derren tweeted earlier yesterday that Channel 4 wouldn’t let him by a lottery ticket which would go toward covering him where benefiting from his ill-gotten information was concerned. He also wasn’t “allowed” to broadcast his “prediction” before the draw was made because the BBC have contractual dibs and Derren couldn’t broadcast the correct result before them.

    Unless, of course, the tweets and all else were planted to lead me to that conclusion…ick, what’s all this grey stuff coming out of my ears..?

  17. that’s not true as i was flikin betweem channel 4 and 1 and his TV was the same as channel 1, it was live

  18. Aqua – just cause they were broadcast at the same time, doesn’t mean they happened at the same time. That’s the ‘magic’ of television :D. Still, Derren’s insistence at the beginning of the broadcast that the camelot draw was absolutely live programming would seem to exclude this option anyway.

  19. Obviously, Derren will never admit colluding with the national lottery company, and neither will the company.

    However, this must have been what happened. Either this, or he filmed it after the lottery had already been announced/some type of time delay.

    It’s not hard to imagine. I don’t really care if I’m wrong. All I know is that it was some lame trick, like everything that Derren does. No offense meant. I’ve seen him live. It’s just: you get really disappointed when you find out how he does his tricks afterwards. They all end up being cheap tricks.

  20. What if Derren’s secret location was in the BBC centre itself?

  21. I like this theory best. Given you cannot predict the numbers in advance then something had not to be live. There had to be a time delay somewhere for him to pull it off. The idea that it was shot in reverse is interesting. He was hiding his mouth much of the time which is the trickiest part to do backwards. The “Russian Roulette” program was presented as live when it was in fact recorded though to be fair using any kind of camera trickery isn’t Derren’s style. If it really did take a year to prepare though, then the trick of doing it all backwards might take about that long.

  22. He said that he spent a year working on it but he also said he had lottery numbers all over his house. This could have just been misdirection but I think he was lying. I like the idea of it being filmed backwards but I don’t see how it would work.

  23. I think this would be a little bit of a cheap trick – but I always question the patter, I wasn’t convinced by his nervousness (he didn’t look that nervous when he was putting a gun to his head!). But that’s what makes it great!

  24. Think about it, there is certainly some trickery involved…the advert said it was misdirection, excluding all the times we have watched again, think about the first time you watched it, were you watching the balls, or the TV?
    Thats why I think the split screen is the best theory…and Derren uses every trick in the book, so he would and could use camera trickery.

  25. No way!

    First: Derren said he doesn’t uses stooges.

    Second: That insider would have the lottery up on charges even if it was a stunt. It would go to show how anyone could rig a draw.

    Third: If there was an insider don’t you think he or she would have spoke up by now to some media outlet?

    All will be told tonight anyway 🙂

  26. @Rebecca , This is highly likely as C4 and BBC share a lot of thier studios.

  27. Derren also has the ability to speed up and slow down his speech as demonstrated in the introduction to one of his series. What if he recorded the section between the lottery results and his own results in fast motion, then this was broadcast at a slower speed while the camera stopped recording, giving him time to write the correct numbers on the balls, the camera then resumed broadcasting at normal speed as he revealed his results.

  28. The show had one thing lacking which would have dismissed everybody’s suspicions.
    All Derren had to do was reveal a pre-purchased lottery ticked at the end and subsequently appeared on national TV collecting his winnings.
    What he would have done with the winnings is irrelevant, he could give them to a charity of his choice for example, but no matter.
    The fact that he didn’t have a ticket (a legal document if you will) shows that the “reveal” is where the real trick appears, not the advance selection of the balls.

  29. I’m leaning towards this now. The draw was probably at 8 o’clock or something.

  30. Jamie Badman….no disrespect to you,but what on Earth are you talking about???

    You say that Derren fimed backwards and the film was shown backwards!!

    Hey does anyone understand what Jamie means by this?

    If the BBC is broacasting the lottery program during the Derren Brown prediction piece….then how can it be “shown again backwards”?

    I’ve heard some strange theories about how Derren did it but this is by far the strangest!

  31. Filmed backwards? How would that work? It doesn’t make any sense. The broadcast on the TV in the background was live, and if it was filmed backwards then he’d have had to have actually revealed the balls (at the ‘end’ of the show) *before* they were drawn – even harder than the trick is at the moment!

  32. Just a little heads up for a few of you who are saying that ‘Derren has always said he never used stooges so why would he start now’, or ‘Derren said it was live and that there was no delay so its ruled that theory out’ or things to that effect.
    Derrens art is deception. Thats what he does. Do you really believe he has never used a stooge when he has agents, people who help plan his shows, money to burn and access to technology through mentalist channels that we know nothing about? The very fact that he says something and people believe his words so easily are PART OF THE DECEPTION, part of the act.

  33. If there was a five minute delay, why would Derren need to do it backwards? He could have just put the right six balls onto the pedestal before the show began?

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