Theory 1 – you decide!

September 10, 2009

This is for all new theories, if one picks up we’ll change the title to it.



  1. Worth a punt… Each ball is an individual LCD device (rather like the new e-book readers). The numbers were “written” onto the surface of each ball following the draw, possibly by wireless connections to the interior of each ball.

    Either that, or you fell down on your knees one midnight at a crossroads somewhere in the deep south (of London).

  2. I just think you’re damned good at guessing.

  3. Well, for the record this is how I think Derren Brown “predicted” the lottery results last night…

    3 identical sets and a body double?

    I think there were 3 identical studio sets. The first section of the show was filmed on set one with Derren and was live. The middle point (where Derren moves to the right of the screen) was a quick cut (very smartly done) to a body double on set 2 watching the results. This gives the real Derren enough time to record the end section of the show on set 3. This end section is then cut to (again very cleverly). I think this last cut happens some time around when the TV is turned off but I’m not sure.

    In fact I’m not sure about any of this but it’s my best guess.

  4. My favourite theory I’ve heard is that it was “future life progression” hypnosis. Can’t wait to learn how that works tomorrow.

  5. My theory is that he had tiny little mice trained to know numbers and when he called them out the tiny little mice wrote them on the balls and then scarpered away.
    If this is true, may I please have one of these magical mice.

  6. He actually did it?? I bloody hope so and he can tell me how 🙂

  7. Theories 2 and 3 seem to be equally the most practically plausible and the least likely in a Derren-esque way (eg. 2 is boring, and 3 was done with the coin flips).

    Personally, I’m going with a multiple universe theory, similar to how The System worked. Basically you run the stunt across millions of parallel worlds and on one of them (lucky us) he gets six numbers.

    It’s the 50 million odd Derren’s who failed last night I feel sorry for…

  8. LCD displays on the balls was what I was thinking too. There are a couple of magic tricks that use a similar principle.

    Excellent TV, however it was done.

  9. he is a witch and the only sensible thing to do is burn him on FRiday at 10pm. Maybe make it a pay per view event?

  10. Derren has in the past used a company in Europe that produces devices that take impressions from note pads etc. This company also market many devices that enable information to be communicated to a performer. I would guess that this company have developed a very expensive set of Lottery Balls. Each ball would contain state of the art LED (Which is available as a Black on White Unit). Not that the balls were not zoomed in on as this would have possible shown some of the masking between the ball and the LED module.

  11. The answer to the Derren Brown lottery draw is to do with the 2nd camera which you only saw once. When the draw was being made he stood with his hand over his mouth and didnt move, he was speaking to someone telling them the balls. There will be some… kind of split screen until Derren moves towards the balls and reveals he has all 6 numbers. This is my theory. The second camera angle will be shown on Fridays show

  12. None of the above, but I have no idea what so ever, looking forward to seeing how it was done tomorrow

  13. Several Clues:

    1) Out of character shaky cam throughout
    2) Just as the bonus ball is faling, the left-most ball appears to mysteriously lift up slightly in the cradle.

    Reason, using techniques similar to those used in the BBC Timewatch “Bloody Omaha” piece, at the point where Derren is scribbling down the numbers (convenient visual distraction) shaky-cam footage matching the movements of the live feed is overlayed on the left hand side to obscure some glamourous assistant as they replace the stand (or just the balls) with balls with the correct numbers then when that is completed a fade to the real stand is done.

  14. How ever it happened the funniest thing about the lottery draw was that nobody won it…its a rollover, Derren could of had the full 2.5 mill lol

  15. My theory is that I believe Derren has billions of little fairys which he sent to the houses of each and every person in the world during his prediction last night to bewitch us into a deep sleep. He then put random numbered balls onto the perspex stand and meddled with our brains to make us think that the numbers that were actually drawn were the numbers on the balls on the stand (in a similar way when he made that girl in America believe that her red car was black in one of his previous shows). He then recalled all the fairies and paid them in leprechaun gold.

  16. The screen was frozen while the live feed of the lottery was being shown! Derren was perfectly motionless (in stark contrast to his jittery faux-nervousness up to that point).
    This allowed an assistant to put the balls in place as they became known.
    When the sixth ball was placed, Derren suddenly sprang back into life.
    Very clever television – works especially well live!

  17. It’s live. Derren switches on the TV, but the image we see in the TV is simply superimposed. During the draw, the image is frozen (hence the snow flake shown on the other video), but the video on the TV keeps going. Derren writes the numbers on the balls, then goes back to the same place, and the image goes back live. The camera shakes hides the fact that Derren isn’t moving at all. Sorry if I guessed and spoiled it, but I’m pretty sure this is it.

  18. It pains me to say this, but it looked like a camera trick to me.

    Everything before the cutaway to the redundant second cameraman was prerecorded. Derren deliberately fluffed his first line to make it seem more convincingly live.

    After that, it was live but the camera was fixed and the “wobbliness” was artificial.

    The shot freezes as a split-screen comes in to play for a few seconds around the time Derren says “28” allowing an assistant to quickly place the correct balls in the correct place.

    There was probably a full studio audience of people watching.

  19. My theory is he’s just some kind of wonderful, magical alien 🙂

  20. Im still certain its more to do with probability, thats why the prediction of all 5 was uncertain, in much the same way Derren counts cards and so on

  21. My Theory is that the entire warehouse was filled with balls that had every possible outcome to it, and as the numbers were drawn this reduced the balls and narrowed the collection until the correct combination was found.
    Then someone placed it in postion.

  22. He’s magic.

  23. Inside each of Derren’s balls there was a tiny tv receiver and projector projecting numbers (in reverse so they’ll shine through right way round) on inside of each ball. This is why he wrote the numbers on a slate so that the teccies at the back of the hall could doublecheck they’d got the right numbers.

  24. Few things occur to me – and this is only having watched it once, live…

    1) why did he need the second camera? It served no purpose in the broadcast other than two occasions – once as he walked in, and again to show the second camera in operation. So it wasn’t needed for the show – was it somehow integral to the trick?

    2) Derren said he would show us how it was done on Friday – and how we could do it, too. That makes it (relatively) easily replicable, which discounts mass hypnosis, time travel(!), and the other more technically-dependent theories.

    And, um… That’s it. No theory of my own, just two thoughts…

  25. Mark Watson above has it right. I know of this company he mentioned, there are another couple of similar companies that make this type of high tec stuff for magicians. This answer is not a THEORY it is the actual method. Anyone who things Derren will tell us the real way he did it on Friday night is deluded. He is not going to risk the let down when people see how easy it was, expensive but easy. He will come up with some other sudo method to do with NLP and other things…….

  26. Has anybody got any thoughts on the stand? Its the most complicated thing on the screen and wouldn’t have to be moved or anything, maybe whatever presents the numbers on the balls is in the stand. Its not very derren brown though, but then neither is the camera overlay/freeze theory which seems the most plausible at the moment.

  27. Harry Potter walked behind the balls (wearing his invisibility cloak, of course) while Derren was writing the sequence down on the board, wrote the numbers on blank balls and scarpered just in time for Derren to walk over and turn the balls round.

    And Derren is actually Dumbledore reincarnated.

    Definately the most plausible theory so far, I reckon.

  28. Light-sensitive coating on the balls. Machine on the wall behind them “prints” the numbers onto the balls from behind.

  29. WAIT A MINUTE! DB didn’t predict the lottery numbers, he waited until the numbers had been drawn and then showed us a set of balls with the correct numbers on them. (which in itself is a great trick). Also I don’t buy the line about NOT being able to show us his predicted numbers before hand, because at that time (10:30pm) it would only have been his opinion of what the numbers will probably be and anyway it would’ve been too late to buy a lottery ticket by then.

  30. Come on guys, it was established long ago that he’s the devil.

    Look closely at the recording between 6:07 and 6:11. Notice anything suspicious? Some little devil horns growing up out of the top of his head?

    In all seriousness though, DB wouldn’t fool us with a cheap tech trick like a TV delay or LCD balls. He’s done this in a way so spectacular it might as well be magic, even though there’ll be a logical explanation come Friday.

  31. Mirrors. That’s my theory.
    Or one mirror in particular, right in front of his balls (that is to say, his predictions…)
    Why do you think there’s been all the backward writing on his blog noitceridsiM, cigaM etc…?
    And the original trailer shot in reverse?
    Also, he’s an illusionist above all else – this hi-tech trickery would be cheating wouldn’t it?

  32. How about that the draw itself was filmed at 8pm, as this site suggests:

    On top of that, the National Lottery website goes to lengths to explain that the Saturday draw is done live, no such guarantee is given over Wednesday’s draw:

  33. Split screen and fake camera movement… OR… goat sacrifice

  34. I think it was largely prerecord with the ‘live’ BBC feed superimposed on the TV. I was convinced during the broadcast that when he was standing with arms folded hand on chin that there was a freeze frame on his image. He was making generalized comments about the broadcast too.
    ‘Shaky’ camera and trips in words at the beginning felt mechanised – good diversion!
    Or it was e-ink!
    I hope I’m wrong…

  35. I think he’s Jesus. He asked his Dad what the numbers would be. It’s what he’s planning on announcing on Friday.

    Jesus is coming, and he looks like Derren Brown.

  36. I’d like to be totally honest and say I have no idea, and I can’t wait to find out. There’s no point in guessing, none of the suggested theories so far seem very ‘Derren’ to me. He’s way cooler than any of them. In fact, he may be the coolest guy in the whole world.

  37. Seriously though, any sensible theory MUST account for why in one frame all 6 balls were neatly packed into the frame and in the next the left one was about 2cm higher than the others… almost as if they had been quickly pushed in and one was either not pushed down tightly or it popped up.

    And I reiterate, the ball doesn’t MOVE up… it is instantly higher… almost as if they aren’t the same set of balls…..

  38. Firstly it’s impossible to predict the Lottery numbers as the odds are astronomical, so it is therefore a trick.

    1. There was no reason for him to be writing things down whilst watching the Lottery Draw.
    2. There was no reason for Derren’s Lottery Balls to have stickers on them with the numbers written on them. It seemed a little cheap for such a big production such as this.
    3. Derren was seen fiddling with one of the stickers just after he turned them around.

    So this is how it was done:
    Derren wrote the numbers on the stickers as they were announced. Then Derren transferred the stickers onto his Lottery Balls as he turned them around. He will have experimented all year with a system or contraption to quickly transfer the stickers.

    Easy really.

  39. My theory is that he’s a wonderful, magical alien 🙂

    And the numbers couldn’t have been projected onto the balls because he twisted the balls as he read the numbers and the printed numbers on the balls moved with them. Some people are observant. You, clearly, are not.

  40. Numbers were projected onto the balls: Derren wrote the numbers down on a piece of card, therefore instructing the projectionist with the numbers needed to go onto the balls when displayed. Slight of hand/camera angles/Derren’s positioning when turning the blank balls around giving just enough time to illuminate the numbers onto the balls.
    Failing that, Derren is just ruddy clever and every bit great in his field and totally entertaining.

  41. I think it was done with people moving behind mirrors reflecting the brick wall at the back. There could have been a gap to access the balls, which start off blank, then people could stick the numbers on as they appear on the lottery show. He moves very close to the balls, as if in front of something. Also, in the introduction, he says ‘there are just two cameramen and me here’, but they could be a) NOT cameramen or b) come into the room after intro sequence.

  42. Perhaps it’s all a game of probability, in previous acts Brown did a coin flicking trick in which he vowed to flip a coin 10 times and consecutively produce the same side of the coin, I cannot remember if it was heads or tails. When revealing it he explained that it was a literal game of hundreds of takes and selecting the first take in which this happened. I’m just going to assume that sicne Brown has sued this method before, perhaps he may try it on a larger scale?
    Also, he does not profess to have any genuine psychic ability, in fact does quite the ooposite, he promotes himself as an intelligent person who has learnt it through academia, whether he does so directly or not.
    So yeah, I reckon it’s number crunching and probability laws, a year would be long enought o do this, looking at what comes out every week, what chances to each number etc. Definately something to do with probability!
    Probably :p xx

  43. I think Derren’s balls contain a special liquid which when stimulated shoots up a tube and out. This liquid created the numbers on the balls.

  44. John Fowler, you’re so wrong they should ban you in 50 states.

  45. 1. Focussed, controlled, IR laser burns the numbers on the balls.

    2. Photosensitive film on ball is exposed to projected numberimages.

    Less likely:

    3.. Imbedded ceramic inkjet strip with mini-roller prints the balls.

    4. Radio controlled balls with electronic paper displays.

    All of the above are possible

    The delay bought by the completely unnecessary writing out of the numbers on the card was to buy timke for whatever printing process was used to complete.

  46. Hmmm not sure, but I suspect there will be something linking in to the “control” event at a later date, get people watching and “prime” us for whatever it involves?

  47. I’m thinking it’s a camera trick too. All of Derren’s patter sets you up to think it’s not a certainty and he might fluff it. During the event itself he looks very nervous and the tension draws your eye.

    I think the left hand side of the screen was a different pre-recorded feed – the camera jog seems a little forced (to make you think it’s a live feed.) I’m even thinking the yellow strips on the back ledge of the studio were used to match up the two feeds.

    So, a clever way to use visual and audio cues to set up your expectations and make convincing ‘live’ TV.

  48. ok so i think im the first to notice this but derren actually predicted these numbers months ago because they are in the reverse advert, which if you think about it kinda rocks even more! so the lotto numbers were 2,11,23,28,5,9 right here goes – there are 2 girls standing in the middle island, 11 and 9 are the guy who runs shouting taxi ( last 2 letters of taxi – XI roman numerals for 11 and when reversed like the theme of the advert becomes 9 ), 5 – when he is stood on the island and says “when you know what to look for” there are 5 red objects in view at that exact point, 23- after the police car there are 23 cars that go by and 28 i havnt found yet but im sure its in there, would love some help if anyone could find the 28 hidden, hope im right on this !!!!!

  49. I love all crazy theories. I don’t believe any part of this was pre-recorded nor that the numbers on the balls are anything other than real numbers, written with a pen. As of how he did it? No idea just yet…

  50. 2 points:

    1) For a “prediction”, nothing was shown beforehand as you usually would with a prediction. I don’t believe the waffle said about the announcing lottery numbers before the BBC. That may be true, but he would have been announcing a prediction, not the numbers, so it shouldn’t have applied. Something fishy going on there.

    2) Why the second camera when it wasn’t used in the broadcast? The only reason is it films what happens as part of the reveal. Much as it doesn’t usually seem Derren’s style of doing things, I’m guessing there’s probably some form of camera trickery going on. Footage overlays that conflict with what you’re seeing have already been demonstrated in the adverts for “The Events” so it could be possible.

    Have to say the theory I like the most so far is the “lasers up in the ceiling/on the wall burning thermally reactive/light sensitive paper on the balls” one. Mainly because it involves lasers. 😀

    Filming all possible outcomes sounds quite a waste of time and would be quite boring as a way to do it.

  51. I think that as he was watching the television, we moved to a locked off shot with an insert of the untouched balls on the left hand side. Then someone just placed the balls there as they came out, with Derren standing on the right to work out the order to give them a couple more seconds. Once they were in the insert was dropped, so that you could see the actual set, and Derren went over and read off the balls.

    If that makes sense…

  52. The writing was a distraction, not a necessesity. Derren’s not the only person in the world, or even the building, with a TV – anyone (assistant, whoever) could watch the BBC to get the numbers – they didn’t need Derren to tell them, either by writing, or by speaking into a microphone under his hand.

  53. derren brown is a mind controller he controlled the minds of all of the employees of the BBC and got them to put magnets in the balls of the numbers he had picked and they were magnetically pulled out, and all those adverts he has put out probably have something to do with it! it might be saying if you win the lottery give me your ticket and he would have taped the live draw and then won!

    or he could just be an alien time traveler! lol

  54. The excuse Camelot didn’t allow him to show the numbers beforehand did spoil it a bit. Also, I noticed he remais pretty still while the numbers were being drawn which could lead to camera trick. Awesome nonetheless and can’t wait to see tomorrow how the heck he did it so well.

  55. You can start arranging the balls as soon as the first number (23) comes out, you just arrange them as they appear with a bubble sort algorithm. So if there is a switch of feed or camera freeze thats where you’d put it in.

  56. He had a link from the board he wrote on to the ball stand which replicated what he wrote on the pad onto the balls.

  57. I think he actually studied previous lottery results to find a pattern of numbers, how else would it take a year to work out. I don’t think he used stickers or mirrors or camera trickery its just not his style. I think its just a bigger scale roulette wheel & the pattern of which number the ball lands on, remember Derren is banned from most casinos.
    Ive seen him live where he can predict exactly what people are going to do, say select a coloured envelope or stand on a specific number this is just on a much bigger scale.

    Very Very impressive however he did it, I don’t think it’ll be so easy for us to try at home though.

  58. Left half of the screen was frozen so someone could change the balls when they were read out…then it unfroze at the end.
    But the real magic is of course in the showmanship x

  59. Yeah, I find it very suspicious that he said the BBC has the right to broadcast the numbers first for “legal reasons”. If it’s a live broadcast, what scenario could possibly come up where they would need the “legal” right to broadcast the #s first? That says to me that the numbers weren’t actually predicted in advacne of being drawn.

    I also think that simple slight-of-hand or camera trickery is too inelegant for Derren.

    I’m thinking about the promotional stuff, and how it spliced together backwards footage and forwards footage. Could that be a clue? I’m can’t really think how it would work, but I”m imagining something where he spent a year working on a precise backwards performance, that somehow got spliced onto the forwards-playing tape of the lotto. So that, somehow, that gives him the chance to actually place the balls after they’ve been drawn, but make it look like it was before? As I say it, it sounds sort of retarded. But maybe there’s something about backwardsness involved?

  60. Several things that I’ve noticed, that make me think that there might be some sort of ‘perspective’ jiggery-pokery going on, which allows someone to select the correct balls and put them on the stand without anyone seeing from the camera’s point of view:

    1) Firstly the first segment with DB walking around and the camera following him could easily have been pre-recorded.

    2) There seems to be something slightly wrong with the perspective for the stand holding the balls: When DB first stands behind the stand he appears to be a lot further away than you might expect. Also the ‘circular’ base looks slightly wrong (a bit like one of those advertisements you get on cricket pitches) (although this could be the camera lens).

    3) DB appears to move very carefully around the stand, as though it is actually taking up much more space than it appears to.

    4) You never see ‘balls’ in the container before the end, they could be white discs that *look* like balls.

    5) Just after the result has been announced, the left most ball appears to move slightly upwards – but not suddenly.

    6) The container for the balls on top of the stem seem to be a container within a container. There is a rectangular box and also a box with a triangular cross section which seems to sit in it (why would you make a container like this? – maybe an assistant puts the correct balls in the inner container, which is then put in the outer container)

    Hopefully we’ll find out on Friday!

  61. Was this a big budget version of Richard Wiseman’s colour changing card trick?

  62. He spent all year analysing previous draws, drawing up statistics on the most occuring numbers, and used those?

  63. Well my theory is this and sorry if its repeating someone elses i didnt read through all the comments, my bad! Anyway, i think people are thinking way too far out of the box with body doubles and camera trickery and all sorts, he’s not a magician revealing magicians secrets (thats been done!)…. I think theres a science involved, we all know about card counting and the likes, well i think quite simply thats basically it. He said he’s been working on it the past year. There is statistics available on how often such a number has come out and we are even told the last time a ball came out when its drawn. I think he basically worked it out, each indivual ball when it was next most likely to be drawn etc and hence figured it out for last night. Therefor he will be able to tell people how its done, it could, idologically be done by anyone, although a lot of people wouldnt have the brains for such mathimathical brilliance. I dont think this should take away from the fact he did it all the same, becasue if i am correct it still goes to show how wonderfully clever he is. Cant wait for tomorrows show to see if im correct!

  64. Just read Luke’s theory above about numbers being in the original Derren adverts…that is one clever theory indeed !

  65. I don’t know about anything anymore, what is a trick and what isn’t, what is live and what isn’t, what is real what isn’t. But back to this lottery business, Derren’s chances of predicting the numbers proved higher than anybodys chances of winning it! I hate probability.

  66. I know exactly how he did it.
    (Well, I’m at least 80% sure. If I get it wrong – I’ll apologise.)

    However, I can’t tell you yet because I’ve had a meeting with Derren, and he’s got the right to broadcast ‘the reveal’ first. But I’ve written it down on these 6 pingpong balls here, and there’s two cameras filming me.

    I’ll reveal the answer live during the show on Friday – just after he’s revealed his.

    Amazing – aren’t I?

  67. You simply cannot predict the lottery with statistics, go and read theory 8:golden formula.

  68. Mykeys post earlier is the most convincing theory I have seen. Though why it would require three identical sets and a body double baffles me.

    Surely you could just cut to a prerecorded bit of footage (I.e. Derren stood still with his hand on his face) and digitally map the live lottery feed onto the blank TV screen? Derren says some generic lottery things, but does he say anything specific to the footage?

    Then Derren numbers the balls as they come out, nochalantly strolls back over to his place by the TV, takes up his very well practiced pose for the cut and as they draw the bonus ball, cut back to Live feed.

    Also, SeansFallOutBoy fails at trolling. LoL.

  69. I have no theory. but I dont think Derren did any of the following
    Time delay
    Camera trickery
    Split screen
    for the simple reason it would not take a year to set that up. Thats Paul Daniels stuff.
    Plus Derren has always stated that there is no camera trickery involved in his act.
    There is obviosly some kind of method in it, but what that is, is way beyond me.
    I’m leaning towards some sort of process by elimination, like he did in ‘the system’. but I cannot get my puny brain around how he would do such a thing.

  70. I believe that he went through all the times that the lottery numbers came up over the space of a year and predicted them by using the numbers that were most likely to come up.
    I don’t think it was a camera trick because if you watch it back carefully you can see that although he looks dead still his forehead moves and his head moves back a bit.
    Also they can’t be projected on coz when he moves the balls the printed numbers (which means they were not written on at the last minute either) move with the ball not just stay in the same place as if they were being projected. It’s got to be something good, I doubt Derren would disappoint us but doing a cheap camera trick!

  71. maybe he’s just that damn good? is it wrong to have a little faith in the arts? instead of trying to prove him wrong maybe he has a gift?

  72. Your all getting fussed over the second camera. It is usual in the TV world to have a second camera just incase the first one fails, it is there purely as a standby should it be needed.

  73. OK GUYS! this is what I think.
    Derren cloned himself a la Hugh Jackman in The Prestige. He did this 14m times, they then set up 14m identical sets with 14m cameras. In the time between ACTUAL Derren watching the balls on the television, and ACTUAL Derren making his way to the table with balls on, they cut to the CLONE Derren with the correct numbers on the balls, they then show this live.
    Alternatively, one CLONE Derren in an identical studio, who then scribbled the numbers on the balls before the camera cut to him revealing the correct numbers. This seems the most likely method.
    Just a guess though guys, just a guess.

  74. Amy, I think you might have cracked it.

  75. Things that seemed a bit strange (might hint at a clue to the method):

    – The show was only 10 mins long. I’m sure he could have wangled himself 30 mins for it. It’s almost as if it was mostly a stunningly clever advertisement for the real show on friday ;).
    – The ‘not being able to reveal the numbers before the draw’ thing. An excuse to reveal his “prediction” after the draw? If it was before the draw it would be classed as a “prediction” just like anyone else. Nothing stopping him predicting dispite what he said. So we know that the reveal HAD to be after the draw for the effect to work.
    – Only a few mins of BBC. I’m no lawyer. This one just struck me as a bit odd. Perhaps he needed an excuse to move his hand towards the TV twice to collect something with a hand.
    – The studio had no live audience. Possibly the trick doesn’t work infront of one.
    – There were two cameras in the room. Why? The second camera was only used once, was this to provide a break in footage for splicing of recordings? Or is the second camera to be used more in the followup show on friday to reveal how it was done?
    – The use of a whiteboard to write the numbers down. Why? we could all see them on the screen.
    – He picked specifically 5 numbers. Why not 6, or the whole 6 and bonus ball? There must be something about those 5. He mentioned that he could get 4 or 5 right. Possibly hinting towards the ‘filming different outcomes’ theory or some kind of little known mathematical obscurity playing on false assumptions or the natural human failings in analysing risk. The C4 Derren website seems to suggest that the show is going to involve some kind of look into decision making and how people make illogical decisions such as a lottery bet.

    It is possible that all of these layers and seemingly odd things are there purely to throw people off track and keep them guessing. These are in Derren’s own words “Events of misdirection”. He was aware that people would try and pick it apart so left many possible false clues and trails. The final solution, whatever it is, is likely to be quite quite simple and really won’t involve lazer ink shooting guns, fiber opting ping pong balls or time travel.

    Regardless of how the trick was done, I think its achieved one of its major goals, to get people talking about it. Its a bit of a publicity machine, its been everywhere today.

  76. Dear Lesley,

    Why wait? You are not correct.


  77. Don’t forget, just because Derren *says* it took him a year of planning doesn’t mean it actually did. He’s a sneaky sneaky misdirecting man!

  78. He’s a jedi knight

  79. Colombo – the magician episode, watch and learn my beauties x

  80. Love reading all of these theories, personally i dont have a clue how he did it, but i will go as far as saying i think however it was done was ridiculously simple once explained, yet impossible to replicate! (or it would be the end of the lottery and we would all win every week, meaning we would each get about a penny each!! lol!)

    Cant wait to find out, even if it is a ‘fake’ explaination – dont care! Its still entertaining!!

  81. I think he had help in the studio some how because when hes reading the numbers out after we are all shocked he’s ”cracked” it when he points at the last number being number 39 another thumb appears and his hand is unbelievably jitterty its like its not attached to his body. Thats what I think.

  82. It’s a well known fact that reality splits into two “streams” at the completion of every action capable of changing the future. We just happen to exist in the stream where the numbers were correct…

  83. Jeff. Yes you could use the pre-recorded footage with an overlay on the TV screen but I think that would be harder than using 3 sets and a body double. Also, with how I’ve described it, it’s all still live. I don’t like the idea of a cut even if it is between 3 live feeds, though it would still be a feat of skill and ingenuity. Now, is there a way to make my theory work without a cut. Is it multiple sets but with mirrors perhaps?

  84. another possibility, that no-ones mentioned is transparent balls with the numbers on. It at least meets the requirement of not being a camera trick!

    There are a set of transparent balls with numbers on that are manipulated from backstage and can travel pneumatically along the cable to the tv, which actually goes into the base of the podium. once the numbers are read out the correct balls travel up the perspex tube (the refraction of the background rendering them invisible) and roll into place. The back of the pedestal has fixed white ball shapes on them, which are there the whole time but are just shells of lottery balls. During the broadcast the balls slip into place and on the turn around the optical illusion of the transparent balls with the white background looks like a real ball.

    it’s the only one I can think of that doesn’t involve camera tricks, but it’s very very horrid.

    What worries me is I can’t think of a reasonable explanation that would be possible to announce on friday, so either we’re all really stupid, or friday will be a lot of tosh.

  85. “Coincidences”:
    * We don’t get a good close-up view of the balls
    * He’s really nervous
    * He’s holding his left hand over his mouth as the lottery numbers come up.

    He’s quite obviously talking into a microphone and a transmitter in his left hand/sleeve, what he’s saying could be transmitted wirelessly to the balls, and the balls could have a speech interpretation and screen function that show the numbers.

    Particularly the screens, however they work, must be high-tech of course, but it shouldn’t be a major problem today if you have enough time and money.

    So, there is actually a quite boring and rather transparent “scientific” way to do this trick. If he doesn’t have a more elegant, low-tech solution, this would make the trick quite daft in my opinion. But who am I to judge, he’s more fun to watch than me no matter what. 🙂

  86. What Derren did to predict the lottery is undenibly simple. He has the ability to paint the future, just like Usutu. There. Simple.

  87. Amy, that’s clearly impossible. 14 million cameras would cost too much.

  88. he swallowed all the balls thats why he has his hand over his mouth when the numbers are being announced.

  89. The thing is, however he did it, he must have tried it again and again before it was ready to air. It definitely wasn’t the first time he has predicted the numbers correctly or they never would have took the chance. To me this means he had a system based on statistics, fact and probability. I think Lesley is right, there is a science to it, the same as card counting.
    Maybe you can narrow it down, week by week. According to the balls drawn the previous week and the frequency the balls are drawn. I can’t quite get across what I mean exactly, I have a vague idea in my head of what I mean but it’s hard to put across.

  90. Yeah, Ssynsing’s right.

    DERREN – Let’s have a nice close-up of your balls.

  91. I think:-
    The camera feed has an added wobbly cam effect. This allows the cameraman to put the camcorder on a tripod but still look like he’s holding it.

    The feed is then split in half when Derren walks to the right of the tv and the left side of the frame is now a freeze frame.

    This gives the cameraman the opportunity to walk up to the balls and replace them with the winning numbers when they are read out.

    When he has finished, the cameraman picks up the camera again and the left side goes back to a live image again. Derren shows the balls and gets jaws hitting floors.

  92. Luke – cracking attempt but the numbers were not “2,11,23,28,5,9…”

    Last two were 35 and 39.

  93. aaargh, the blog has crashed!!!

  94. Lesley – you’re wrong. And idologically isn’t a word.

    To people suggesting high tech solutions (hidden screens in the balls, laser etching) – would that even be impressive? Laughable to think they’d try and impress an audience with ‘tech’.

  95. When the lottery was on I wasn’t watching the balls at all. Derren made you watch the the lottery draw (misdirection) and not the balls. I bet someone just swapped the balls when the lottery was on and you just didn’t notice because you were watching the draw. It’ll be interesting to watch back.

  96. Helen – it’s on YouTube if you want to watch it back.

  97. I recon he used a simple split screen trick, previously recording the half of the set where the balls actually were and adding that onto the live show, leaving the actual live ball half of the screen hidden. Whilst the Lottery was taking place, it gave enough time for someone to add in the correct numbered balls without being seen. He’s clever though; I’ll give you that.

  98. stab in the dark! (i doubt its camera trickery or anything as that would be a boring show friday) there are loads of different combinations of what balls come out BUT! the amout goes down when you put them in numerical order eg 123456, 145623 different possibility but same if you put them in numerical order. a recent video has derren by his prediction then showing a snowflake. he stated he has lottery numbers on his walls for years, this sugests hes been studying them for years or hes leading us down a wild goose chase. maybe this chronolgical numerical combination hasnt come up before . maybe? hell thats a guess i dont know im a teenager

  99. *The balls were switched while we were watching a close up of Derren and the TV screen*

    While the lottery draw was taking place the balls Derren had supposedly drawn his predictions on were not in shot, allowing someone to come along and swap the balls we saw with different balls which featured the correct numbers.

    If Derren had really predicted the lottery results he could have shown us them before the lottery draw started.

    It is possible that legally you aren’t allowed to reveal the lottery results before the bbc does, but this is not actually what Derren would have been doing. Derren would have merely been making a prediction, not ‘reporting the lottery results’.

  100. I said at the time that I believed it was a split screen (wipe) – Derren is on the right, and someone is on the left placing the correct balls into the holder – obscured by an overlay of an image of the left side of the set with balls in their stand, untouched.
    As Derren watches the end of the lottery, an assistant places the balls in the holder, under cover of digital trickery, and then as Derren begins to move to the left of the screen, and once the assistant has moved out of sight, the wipe is removed and Derren has the correct balls in front of him.

    The facts:
    * ‘cannot announce the result before the BBC’ is hokum. Derren needs the time from the end of the announcement, to walking over to the balls, for an assistant (the rear camera operator, if we want to be precise) to insert the correct balls, obscured by a screen wipe.
    * I was initially fooled by the fact that the camera had a slight wobble. To achieve a wipe, cameras usually need to be ‘locked off’ (ie. placed on a tripod, and no movement of camera or lens, so that the wipe on the left (balls on stand) meshes with the image on the right (Derren watching the lottery) – however, camera wobble can be faked digitally (or otherwise) by simply jiggling the image using online image processing software. A similar affect could be done using motion controlled cameras, to give a better perspective effect as the ‘handheld’ camera wiggles around, but I think this is too complicated, even with such good prep.
    * Derren introduces lovely bits of misdirection in body language, catching his sleeve, messing around, being awkward – all part of his wonderful act.
    * we never see the view from the rear camera after it is announced at the beginning – this contains the secret, of course, of how it was actually done…

    Of course, I’d expect that on Friday, Derren will show the view from the rear camera, of the operator leaving it, moving to the front, replacing the balls, and moving out of shot again……

    BUT! Knowing Derren, he will NOT show this on Friday, and will show some other solution — to which there is one missing fact which never quite adds up. Derren always gives 3, and keeps back one.. tho one of the three he’s given you is usually misdirection too.

    Fabulous show, and hope the new series goes well, you crooked devil mentalist you!

  101. I’m working on a theory based on the whole ‘back to front’ mirror image’ theme that’s been in the ads and on Derren’s blog for some time. Can someone help please. Is Derren left handed? I thought he was but as the blog has crashed I’m not sure.


  102. haha I agree with Mat about the techy thing. If you can get it in Dixon’s, it’s not going to cut it.
    The misdirection thing is silly. Do you think that out of the ENTIRE audience, not a single person thought to look at the balls at all. It would have been all over the internet by 11 o’clock and we would not be having this discussion right now.


  103. @Helen: yes, if you watch it again you will see a man in a gorilla suit come in from stage left to switch the balls.

  104. My guess would be a sophisticated real-time CGI effect based on motion tracking. Not sure about the technical details, but something like this:

    The balls were and remained blank during the entire shot, the video signal went through a computer system, which was used to render the numbers onto the balls real time with a 3D software. Gyroscopes inside the balls could have been used to measure their rotation precisely when Darren touches them. The stand on which the balls were placed, and the camera might have been prepared with devices to help calculate the distance/angle between the camera and the balls, focal length and other shooting details could have been read directly from the camera etc.

    One year went to find the best motion track method/equipment/experts for this particular shot, developing the custom scripts for the chosen 3D program, calibrating the camera and the computer system and loads of test shots.

  105. The output of the studio is given a video effect to make it look like the camera is wobbling, however it is actually locked off.

    Before the draw they recorded the shot from the locked off camera.

    When the draw’s taking place the vision mixer splits the screen down the middle thus covering up the left hand side of the screen with the pre-recorded blank studio.

    Someone walks onto the set behind the pre-recorded bit and adds the numbers to the balls.

    When the draw’s over the live studio is brought back full screen.

    The wobbling is to distract us from any slight anomolies and the subtle mix in and out of the split screen

  106. He has a mad spray gun that shoots ink onto the balls. He is talking into a mic telling the operator of the gun what numbers came up

  107. Video editing.

    The balls visibly move from the start of the effect to the end.

    Through video editing, the balls are hidden, allowing an assistant to place the correct balls in place as the lottery reads them out.
    Then the filming returns to normal:

    Here’s proof the balls move:

  108. If I have learned anything from Mr.Derren Brown’s previous sojourns, it’s that whatever the solution, it will be quite smart, and at the same time obvious, once you think about it. But you really have to think about it a lot. It’ll also include a bit of work, a bit of luck, and no camera trickery.

    Where’s the fun in camera trickery, after all?

    I really did love the way he carried out The System, which was so beautifully simple and yet such a massive and complex undertaking.


    Okay, so having rewatched the footage there was no close up on darren. I reckon the first two shots: Derren walking onto the stage, and the long distance shot from the back of the room were prerecords to create the illusion that the third continuous shot of the event itself looked like it was shot with a hand held camera. The show was I think actually shot more elaborately on a camera with a tripod that could record, and then replicate the movements made by the camera. I reckon the final shot was filmed prior to the draw itself without Derren in shot, and then during the event itself the camera made exactly the same movements as during the previous version of the shot, allowing both shots to be comped together once Derren is over the right hand side of the screen: the left hand side of shot one with the right hand side of shot two. This way it looks like the balls remain untampered with on the right hand side of the screen while Derren jots down the lottery results, when in fact someone is over there swapping the balls. Once they have done this the left hand side of the screen switches to the live shot, allowing Derren to walk over and reveal a ‘correct prediction’. Simple! 🙂

  110. I think he must have used some kind of split-screen filming. He always says that he is not psychic and that he uses showmanship and misdirection in his tricks.

    Split screen does what it says, splits the screen into left and right so that different things can be happening on the left and right as viewed by the audience.

    The ‘prediction’ was on the left-hand side of the screen during the lottery draw – this was a recorded image projected on to our screen. Derren stood on the right-hand side of the screen – this was a live image and he was focussing all our attention on him and foccussing our attention away from the ‘prediction’ on the left. While projecteing a recorded image on the left-hand side, someone put the numbered balls in the right order as they were being drawn, they had time to do so as Derren was writing them down on the card and talking about the draw.

    Once the person had put the numbers on the left and moved out of shot, the left-hand side was transmitting live again, the split-screen wasn’t used anymore and Derren could reveal the numbers as if they had been sitting there the whole time.

    Plus, if you looked carefully, the balls moved during filimg even though Derren didnt touch them – this was them switching the left-hand side of the screen from a recorded image back to the live image

    look….. http://i28.tinypic.com/ehmzvp.gif

  111. Would any of the people who think he used statistics to predict which balls were most likely to come up like to buy a bridge?

  112. Hate to be a wet blanket – love Derren’s stuff – but isn’t it just a variation on the old trick where the magician predicts the number a person is thinking of and has it in a sealed envelope in full view throughout the show?

  113. I don’t think the numbers were predicted, I think they were recorded as they were drawn and what we saw was a camera trick, where a still of the balls hid what was really going on whilst Derren distracted us with his staring at the TV and legal mumbojumbo banter.
    I think the left of frame was temporarily masked (video effect) with a hold frame of the balls to the left on screen. As this was uninterrupted until a good few seconds after the draw, an assistant / second cameraman could have stuck numbers on the balls as they were drawn and the full frame live feed restored once they had left frame. Derren’s delay in writing the numbers down bought valuable time to get it all right.

    Et voilà, two sets of matching numbers. Of course I realise I’m probably wrong and Derren will reveal some crazy maths on Friday, but it’s good to speculate isn’t it! Great show.

  114. i truly LOVE you Derren, but it was some simple camera trickery – a portion of the scene was frozen which allowed the balls with the right numbers to be put in place. x

  115. his tv ad is all about camera trickery, which by the way was done in two parts,(takes) lorry to middle of the road. and middle pavement to front of camera.(you can see his body move position through a large car the passed)The lottery show is frozen for a few seconds after 5th ball is anounced whilst correct numbers are placed on the plinth!

  116. In fact all of his adverts and promotions for the event are about camera trickery ! he is almost teling us…lol

  117. Right… Watched the footage again, and have a theory… It seems to be one that several others on here have mentioned, but what the hey, I’ll say it again!

    Firstly, what we saw was live – mostly. There’s a reason for the first part being shown as it is with a walk n talk – it establishes that camera 1 is a mobile hand-held cam with wobbles and shakes.

    Secondly, the second camera. This serves two functions, I believe – to give a wider shot of the action to show us how he did it on Friday, and to allow for a cut in the action from camera 1. Why cut the action? Because of the trick’s secret…

    Whilst we are cut to camera 2, and Derren is waving to us, the first camera is locked off in a specific position to allow for the split-screen mentioned by others. The cut allows for any positioning jiggles to be ironed out before cutting back, and Derren’s movements focus our attention on him for a moment longer in case of minor discrepancies. So now we have a split-screen, with the left half showing a frozen frame of the ball-stand, and the right continuing to give us the live feed.

    Derren’s nervousness and agitation are to distract us and keep us focused on the right side of the screen. What’s also important here is the apparent continuation of the hand-held camera use – it still shakes slightly. BUT, on a second viewing, the wobble is far more mechanical in nature during this part – because it is being simulated in the editing suite, again to mask the freeze frame on the left.

    While the lotto results are being shown, the correctly-numbered balls are placed on the rack – it’s easy to place them in numerical order as they’re called. Derren’s writing of the numbers again serves two purposes – so that those with short memories can compare the numbers to his “prediction”, and to give time to fade from the frozen frame back to the live feed of the entire screen. Derren now walks back across the stage – the only time he’s done it since the shot from camera 2 – and reveals his amazing powers of predicition.

    This seems a feasible enough solution to it – he doesn’t mention a lack of camera tricks in all his work (only the intro to Trick of the Mind); it’s replicable at home with a few pieces of relatively inexpensive software and kit; he has said he’s worked on the Events for a year, not just this one trick; and it fits the theme of misdirection nicely – you are not seeing what you think you are seeing.

    Peace out.

  118. A still of the left hand side of the screen, where the balls are.is duplicated and overlayed over the picture.

    This allows an assistant, unseen behind the overlay, to replace the initial balls with numbered versions.

    The overlay is then removed before Derren approaches the balls.

    In Russian Meercatese – “Seempils!”

  119. Like Andy B i’m thinking Wireless technology and LCD screens on the balls. The broad he wrote the numbers on was very thick and could easily contain a touch sensitive surface, character recognition software and a transmitter to the balls. Since you can get mobile phones built into watches it seems perfectly feasible to have each individual ball able to receive its number. I’d use older Black LCD displays since they don’t glow like the screens of modern mobile phone screens. Looking like you can predict the lottery – there’s an app for that!

    Alternatively lasers in the lighting rig could ‘burn’ the numbers into a photo-sensitive coating on the balls.

  120. At some point after you walked from the balls to the television screen, the image we were receiving at home became composite: the half containing you and the TV came from camera 1. The half containing the balls and rack (ooer) came from camera 2 (which was now situated as close to camera 1 as physically possible so the angles matched up).

    During the seconds between the BBC’s revelation of the numbers and you turning the rack around, the correctly numbered balls were put in place, facing away from us. Once this was done, camera 2 was taken out of the equation and we returned to seeing a straightforward image of what was happening (no more composite/split).

    You turned the rack around and we saw the correct numbers displayed. TSIMPLEZ! ;o)

    You’re brilliant fun to watch, and the fact that we’re all talking about it means you’ve done a great job, again!

  121. Why do you have to probe and probe and probe. Then feel so smug if you guess correctly. Who cares how Derren Did it, lets just be amazed that he did it correctly, we don’t need to know how he did it. Its just a bonus that we will find out.

  122. OK, here’s my theory, based solely on what we saw, and how it might be done.

    First, this is a standard prediction effect – the line about ‘not allowed to show the numbers first’ is misdirection (it might also be true, but that’s irrelevant) because all the work is done after the balls are drawn. To produce this effect, just think about how you would get those numbers onto the balls *after* you know what they are.

    I’ve no idea if this is feasible, but given the little I know about magic techniques, you should never underestimate the technical and engineering abilities of magic technicians.

    I think that the stand on which the balls were standing had inkjet (or other similar) print heads underneath the balls. They would be driven remotely by a wi-fi signal. Someone offstage would input the numbers as they came up, and once all six were drawn, the heads would print the numbers on the balls. Then a roller mechanism in the stand would rotate the balls so they’re facing up.

    Others have suggested some sort of projection or LCD screen on the balls. I’m not sure if it’s possible to get such a screen on a round ball, but e-Ink is another possibility, in which case you wouldn’t need to rotate the balls.

    Having the balls rotate might have caused the one at the end to slightly raise up (since they were tightly spaced in the rack).

    I’ll also make a prediction. Whatever Derren reveals as his method on Friday will not be the actual technique. Unless it’s this one, of course.

    However it was done, it was done brilliantly. Including all the other misdirection on places like Twitter. Derren and the team are very, very good.

  123. Its the whiteboard. Without the whiteboard this trick would not work.

  124. You’re all wrong. That’s my theory.

  125. GUYS, GUYS, GUYS!

    If Derren has put so much time and effort into this ‘misdirection’, and his career as an illusionist as a whole, do you *really* think it will be some crummy hi-tech camera trick or laser-printing-ball-thing?
    I mean, that would just be career suicide, don’t you think?
    And it *obviously* hasn’t got *anything* whatsoever to do with illusions or misdirection, so he *must* just be a sell-out fake. O_o

    But whatever, I reckon it was a damn good show and I’m putting my bets on the invisible fairies or Edward Cullen using his vampire super-speed. 8D

    Love reading the theories though guys, we must have just about gotten everything: time-travel, alien!Derren, Harry Potter, Jedi knights, the devil, goat sacrifice, mass-hypnosis, invisible fairies, and parallel!Universes…

  126. Helen, millions of people watched The Event, and there are several YouTube videos up as well. I think *someone* would have noticed if someone walked right onto the set and swapped the stand around. UNLESS, of course, it really WAS Harry Potter under his invisibility cloak. ;D

  127. live television isn’t 100% live – it still goes through the BBC’s system first which means by having his own camera man there he could have a few seconds lead on the actual “live” feed

  128. Hmm … reckon there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that the balls were replaced. So something would have to mask our view as this occurred. Rather than camera trickery, I’d suggest glass which can reflect like a mirror, or become transparent, depending on lights (am thinking Pepper’s Ghost). Therefore there’d need to be a duplicate podium/balls just out of shot (left ball higher – apparent after cross fade). Therefore the long shot from the second camera is in a different location … reckon that guy waving wasn’t Derren at all, and there even seems to be a discrepency in the wave between camera cuts. The roving camera guy shown in the long shot would not exist in the second studio – the camera would be fixed to allow the reflection to be precise. Finally, all this would provide enough stuff for a one hour special on Friday. Reckon that covers everything ..? Apart from where this glass actually is and how Derren navigates around it. :o/

  129. been debunked on youtube as being split screen, hope its something more though otherwise how boring would that be

  130. I can confirm Mark Watsons (above) explanation is 100% correct. Have a look on the internet and search for impression devices and transmitters. I found a couple of companies that supply this technical stuff to magicians. It will have cost a lot of money but it is money well spent Brown will earn a fortune from the shows and DVD releases.

    Also note, if you look around the internet there are NO high definition version of the show around (even the ones that say they are aren’t). This is so that you will lose all definition if you try to zoom in on the balls. Also note that the camera on the shown did not zoom in closely to the balls. This must have been worked out in rehearsals. I’m sure Derren must have rehearsed the effect many time using old lottery recordings.

    I would also assume that his old mate and magical consultant Andy Nyman was the person pushing the buttons to transmit the number onto the balls. He would not have needed to be in the same room as I think from what I have read on the internet this type of device works via Blue Tooth.

    There is now way he is going to give up this real secret, as Mark said he will probably spin use some psycho babble.

  131. i love the fact that at 1:05 he whimpers oh god, and this from a dedicated atheist 🙂

  132. I have THE theory !
    Derren Brown owned the National Lottery Firm… And he can now control everything and decide wich numbers will be. Easy !

  133. The ball moved! 2.04 the left ball rises which could mean that there was some sort of something to do with timing and… I don’t know it hurts my head :S . But then again if that’s true then I’ll be SO disappointed with him.

  134. Having seen the advert filmed after the event, where he holds up a snow flake it does seem freeze framing could be the trick. In terms of how impressive it is, its all in how you present it. Watching a video of him run across the studio and place the correct balls in would be pretty impressive when shown with “live” the feed we’ve all watched repeatedly. Still seems a bit, sort of… obvious though.

    OR maybe it was maths, logic and statistics!


  135. It was all math. Swapping the balls, and projection are out. LCD displays on the ball are highly unlikely, you would see the same result as you would on the tv, it would not look at good at all, and would be very easy to tell, its one of those “Can tell when it is, can’t tell when it is’nt whole things”. The reason he stood still was another trick. The thing is, a normal swap trick is not possable, with sky+ and youtube, its nearly impossable nowadays. He would have never EVER used slight of hands, experts would be able to tell in a flash. People are anazalizing this frame by frame from HD video. Its impossable to do such a thing under such conditions. I suggest we all look at this in a new light. Forget thinking about how he tricked US, and think about how he would do it without trickery. Maths is not out the question, But to get this correct with maths would require a very advanced formula, meening that he would be able to predict the numbers every month or so, because of recalibrating the equation over a few draws. Amy, that would be impossable. The sum would be much more advanced than that. It is as near to random as possable. There is something nobody has thought of yet, and nobody will unless we think very hard about what HE would do.

  136. I’m not sure how he did it, but did anyone else notice the lamppost in his trailers for the show? It had circles in different colours with numbers written on them, not sure if it’s related, looks suspicious though…

  137. all i know is that at one point in one of his live shows he was on stage in two places.. thats not the type of man i wanna meet in a dark alleyway.

  138. here’s my $0.02;

    Derrens ‘balls’ are painted with a special emulsion, which turns black when hit by a laser, the laser could be concealed up near the roof 50 feet away…

    As the lottery numbers are drawn real-time & live, an assistant types the winning set of numbers into a laptop, the laptop controls the laser to draw the numbers….ta-daa! you’re a winner…

    To be honest I seriously doubt it; the most realistic sounding suggestions so far involve camera trickery I reckon…or obviously he is a witch.

  139. I think the snowflake (crystal) Derren holds up in the trailor for tomorrow’s show is a big clue (or possibly red herring). The numbers ‘printed’ on the white balls appear on a raised surface. This raised surface could be a near flat LCD display panel. Any google search for e.g. ‘thin lit crystal text display’, can reveal patent applications for all manner of clever devices. as mentioned elsewhere the numbers could be set by a speech to text converter – Derren appears to be speaking into his hand as the draw takes place.
    Or who knows, I may well (almost certainly) have been very well misdirected…

  140. Watch it again in slow motion,
    Keep your eye on the ball on the far left.

    Just after the balls drop (hehe)Derren’s balls move. The ball on the left goes from being flush with the bottom of the stand to then being slighty raised. Also, there is a moment when the camera stops shaking.

    I reckon Derren had a still image of the balls on the left were an image (an overlay) and this was faded out once the balls had dropped. The image was faded out because someone was putting the ‘right’ balls on the left.

    The misdirection will probably be something to do with getting loads of people to watch the show on Friday.

  141. Hmmm, another thought – maybe the image at the top of this blog is a clue?

    I mean, it is projecting white ‘ball’ like objects onto the floor – maybe this was used in some way???

  142. The misdirection started right in the beginning, with the long shot taken from the second camera. This was actually pre-recorded, and insrted into the live action. Watch the whole programme again but imagine the shots from this camera are not included at the start – it opens up a whole series of possibilities…

    1) The programme was not filmed by a hand-held camera, but by a camera on a computerised tracking device (that can be programmed to follow a strict path throughout the programme).

    2) The studio is not empty at all – there are probably a number of other people in there behind the camera.

    You are only tricked into thinking that the programme is filmed in an empty studio by a handheld camera because of these couple of shots at the start of the programme!

    Once you realise the whole programme is being filmed exactly frame by frame (rather than by a hand-held wobbly camera) it becomes much easier to imagine how half of the screen can be frozen and hidden from the viewer whilst balls are changed to show the ‘actual’ lottery numbers.

    Simple! It’s all in the misdirection at the very start of the programme.

  143. He’s an Illusionist, this is what he does best.

  144. Similar to AliBee above I think there’s something dodgy about the wall. Rather than a flat wall it looks like it may be an optical illusion and actually a 3D box. If you look closely you can see a sort of outline extending out on to the floor. This would explain why Derren almost seems to squeeze past as he goes behind the stand. Not quite sure what this is hiding though. Perhaps as has been said already some form of printing device. After all his blog did post an article about a 3D printer at the Science museum not too long ago.

    I agree that the wobbly camera is purposely used to hide any movement which may have been caused by the printing on the balls and Derren’s wild hand movements keep our attention focused on him until the TV is turned on.

    Very impressive however it was done!

  145. ok people are sayng its “impossible to predict” the lotto numbers, its not impossible just improbable.. if it was impossible noone would ever win right?
    when you buy a lotto ticket your are attempting to “predict” the numbers…
    with only aimin for 5 out of 6 balls that cuts the odd well down… The most DB thing i can think of is he’s studied the lotto for the past year, looking for any pattern or simply saying the most common 6 balls in the hope they all come out…
    Find out tomorrow, cant wait 🙂

  146. Let’s assume everything Derren said was correct, and the truth.

    -The numbers were predicted before the draw
    -There were no secret camera/mirrors
    -There was no technical, or camera trickery
    -There was no slight of hand

    The National Lottery Draw, by design, is totally variable with a chance of around 1 in 14,000,000 of winning. Camelot protects the draw from interference by keeping the machines, and the balls, under lock and key and in controlled conditions at the start of the draw.

    Even the slightest temperature, a fleck of dirt, a wayward eyelash change can change the outcome of the draw. So, Camelot keeps the machines in A CONTROLLED CONDITION.

    Just before the draw, each lottery machine, and position of balls, are put into what I’ll call IMMACULATE CONDITION. At the beginning of every one of the 1000+ draws that have taken place, every machine and set of balls have been placed in immaculate condition. In fact, every draw, in theory, has been identical. The temperature has been the same, not a fleck of dust has entered the ball chamber. EVERYTHING is identical.

    So, you could say, that every single lottery draw has been the same. Which it has, if not for one crucial variable. The moment the button was pushed.

    Imagine that there are 10 lottery machines side by side. They are all kept in a controlled condition, and are standing in an immaculate condition. Imagine that their start up sequence is exactly the same. The chamber rolls for the same amount of time before the balls are released, and the balls drop at the same time. Then a machine presses “the button” at exactly the same time. In theory, the result will be exactly the same for all ten machines, because there is no variation between any of them.

    The technique used to protect the integrity of the draw is it’s weakness.

    How would this be accomplished though? Derren was probably miles away from the lottery studio.

    After Derren turned the TV on to reveal the live draw, he fleeting mentioned that a different glamour assistant pushes the button each week, and stated that “this weeks glamorous assistant is OJ Borg”. Who is OJ Borg?

    Surely it wouldn’t be too hard to place someone, an accomplice, in the lottery studio and have complete control over the only variable?

    How would OJ Borg know when to push the button then? He might be devilishly handsome, but I doubt he has a super powered computer for a brain.

    I wouldn’t put it beyond channel 4’s means to acquire, or have access to, a lottery machine, or several. Over months and months a team could be working on pinning down an exact moment after the balls drop (for example, 12.32 seconds after the balls drop) to gain a predictable result.

    I wouldn’t put it beyond Derren’s talents to get OJ Borg into an immaculate state of mind, that after months and months of practise can push the button at exactly 12.32 seconds… and creating a predictable result.


    Couple of other thoughts: You’ll notice Derren stresses certain unnecessary points (voice of the balls, says there’s a close up there there isn’t one, trips over certain words). I don’t think this has anything to do with the Lottery Draw event. Either they are thrown out as red herrings to confuse the community dissecting the evidence… or to drop subliminal messages into a high charged, captive audience for next weeks “stuck to my sofa” event. It’s quite likely that anyone watching next week will have watched this week.

  147. Derren is , in fact, a (or perhaps the) Devil. He was able to achieve such a ‘miraculous’ event because he had God’s permission to do so?
    Haha. 😛

    Peace people! 😀

  148. I believe this is done via the quantum entanglement of the ink particles on the lotto balls with those on Derren’s set. Thus, when the BBC draw took place, the chosen numbers appeared simultaneously, as particle by particle images, on Derren’s balls. As it were.

  149. Hmm… what does Derren pickup in the latest video? A snowflake!!
    My Prediction: http://connorjackblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/my-theory-for-derrens-lottery-stunt.html

  150. I posted this last night on the blog, but then changed my mind as you will see at the end, I went for the many takes angle, but really think it is split screen with the left hand side frozen enabling someone to change the balls before someone walks over:

    I think he gave a few clues away. The first was when he said he may get 5 of the numbers, the second was when he said it took a year of his life.

    Firstly, I believe the BBC footage was superimposed onto the TV set, almost certainly from the point where the draw ended. I believe that many possible takes were filmed and the correct one played at the last possible moment after the bonus ball was selected. Derren’s ‘correct take’ starts from the end of the numbers being drawn and of him writing out and reading the numbers before displaying the balls was chosen . Yes the BBC footage was live, but the sequence where Derren writes down the numbers I believe was pre-recorded and was one of many several thousand takes filmed over the year. I calculated that it would take years of consecutive filming to produce all 14 million outcomes, but he may be able to film enough to get his 5 numbers, and 6 if he got a lucky guess – which he did!

    The camera slightly moves as the numbers come out, Derren keeps still and has his hand over his mouth, I believe there is a point at which the film changes to the correct selected ‘take’. As each ball is drawn this rapidly shortens the list of takes to choose from.

    Well done on Channel 4 for a smooth transition on the changeover point!

    He wouldn’t need to film 14,000,000 takes, just 1,000,000 in order to cover geting 5 balls correct. He then has a 1 in 14ish chance of getting the 6th ball right – which he did! Either way it is a lot of filming for a year!!

    THEORY 2:
    Another theory could be that there is a split screen, where the left hand portion of the screen appears to be live, but it is actually frozen. Some one can walk on without being seen and place the correct numbers there, and then the left hand section of the screen can be ‘un-paused’ when Derren walks over.

  151. I’m betting that either a camera trick or mirror was used to show us a fake left side of the screen. Camera trickery would be easier, but if you want to be able to claim that no camera tricks were used, a mirror would work as well.

    The second camera was used to show the TV audience the studio set-up and primary camera, which was hand-held and wobbly. This second camera may not have been an actual live shot. If a mirror was employed, this second shot makes you believe that no such thing is in place. If an electronic split image is used, this shot could conceal a camera motion control system.

    Either way, during the actual drawing, the television audience is not actually viewing the “real” prediction balls. They are watching a taped or reflected image. This image prevents us from seeing his assistants to place the correct balls on the stand as they are called out.

    This fake image is removed while Derren writes down the numbers. Look very carefully at the prediction balls as he reviews the numbers he has just written down. The end prediction ball suddenly “jumps” — that’s when the image switch is made between the fake left screen image and the real stage.

    He is then free to walk back over to the numbers and reveal his prediction. Great work!

    Then again, time traveling space aliens or fairies could also explain quite a bit.

  152. I don’t really care how it was done- why spoil it, I like to just think it was a clever trick. One that I will never be able to do, who wants to be a millionaire anyway!

  153. There is a clear marker on the floor by where he stands by the TV.

    He ensures he stands over that marker.

    A tube is then put up his trouser leg and up through the right hand of his jacket hence all of the wiggling and arm movements he makes.

    The card he writes the numbers on later is anchored to his body and lets his right arm free to let this tube through and is used as a barrier to put his right arm behind it.

    The correct numbered balls then go through this suit up into his hand and behind the TV or at least he does something with his hand behind the TV.

    The rest I still haven’t worked out.

    So it’s either the balls go up through his suit or he takes them from behind the TV.

    The biggest distraction was us being so intent on looking at the balls he put out on the stand, you can see he keeps making you want to look at them and hence why too many theories point that way, it’s all about misdirection when all the real work happened just where he was standing.

    Him saying he felt sick allowed him to use his left hand to put in front of his mouth too, for another reason I haven’t worked out yet.

    Lots of random musings, but just my thoughts.

  154. It seems to me that the stand with the balls is a bit further than the TV, as Derren walks carefully around and behind it. Maybe the big white base is there to distract and make it look as if the stand was closer to the filming cameraman than it really is? The white stands out in the black background giving optical illusion.
    + Use of mirrors?

  155. hes obviously a wizard who is going to kill us all with his mental magic

  156. Derren’s real identity is that of none other than Dr Emmett ‘Doc’ Brown and he cheated by using his De Lorean time machine.

  157. Dictionary: pre·dict
    v.tr. To state, tell about, or make known in advance, especially on the basis of special knowledge.

    Half the trick is semantics. Had Derren Brown revealed the numbers BEFORE the lottery draw it would have been a prediction and a truly outstanding TV event.
    He actually revealed them afterwards which, er, isn’t a prediction but an illusion. In this day and age there are any number of ways this could have been achieved and frankly I couldn’t give two hoots how it was done.

  158. My theory isn’t about how he did it, but it is about what he will tell us tomorrow. I think maybe predicting the lottery numbers was all a big distraction from something else that was going on, and that’s going to be the big reveal.

  159. I’m loving the 1,000,000 filmed clips of every outcome swiftly edited together theory. Very Derren Brown. However, 1,000,000 clips!? Madness when there’s 100s of easier, traditional magic, ways of doing this trick. It’s all a big trick though right, maybe Brown reveals on friday that he dedicated a year to filming 1000000 clips — hokum!

    Also like the idea that that Lotto presenter has been in on the trick since he started working there a year or so ago. I mean, who the hell is that guy?

    Has anyone flipped the footage, or reversed it, it would be nice to see something reveal itself.



  162. ooops, posted this first in the wrong section…

    Just one theory that could work, along with others, is that the balls are made from or wrapped in E-ink. I’m not sure how far the technology has come along, but this footage is fairly old now and makes it seem plausible as an option. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNO19PoQOI0&feature=related

  163. Haven’t had time to formulate this adequately, but my favourite (if just slightly paranoid perhaps) theory is that the whole lottery prediction is itself the misdirection, and that is was merely a primer for Friday and/or future events such as the ‘stuck to the sofa one’. I noticed a couple of odd things which he stressed, such as ‘ten minutes’ and ‘not having control over’ (when he mentions the timing of the draw). Also the feeling sick comment, and him randomly slipping in mentioning ‘2000’ twice. We all know that Derren doesn’t say ANYTHING by accident! His whole nervousness is a well rehearsed act. I think there will be little bits of subliminal suggestion in every event, and possibly in the advertising leading up to them. In terms of the actual lottery trick i have no clue. Body double would be the best I think, just because it would be so unsublte and ‘right in front of your nose’, very funny. Anyways, I think all the speculation on that is distracting from the bigger picture…

  164. The ‘maybe getting 5 numbers’ thing was a lie, to increase the effect of the trick.

    The ‘worked on it for a year’ may or may not be a lie, but IMO it is more likely that it is.

    The balls seem real enough.

    “* He’s really nervous
    * He’s holding his left hand over his mouth as the lottery numbers come up.” – Pausing in a specified location to help sync up some video?

    Also, giant step near end.
    BBL, off to watch it again in reverse.

  165. More paranoia; I think Alan Dedicot is in on it too! If I hear his voice anywhere near the controlling the nation event i’m turning right off before Derren has total control over my tiny wee mind.

  166. Changed my mind – Clues;
    1 – The camera spins as he walks into the room not showing close up what’s in the corner.
    2 – Why is the top of the TV stand such a different colour the the base? Just Lighting? Well why doesn’t it always line exactly up? (It also looks a little odd in the long view second camera shots).
    3 – There is all kinds of junk up in the lighting rig. One of these is causing a big shiny reflection just above where the TV would reflect.
    4 – The window in the back wall is obscured by the TV but in the long shot is way off to one side.
    5 – You don’t get a long shot of the stand after he turns the balls showing its base.
    6 – The chrome detailing on the TV in the long shot doesn’t seem to show up well – could just be lighting. However it does seem square on despite being at a very different angle to the close up camera.
    7 – There is a lot of unnecessary vertical ‘details’ in the background – good for hiding mirror edges.
    8 – He seems to be ALOT shorter behind the balls as opposed to in front of the TV. And the base of the ball stand looks slightly oval – which would be obvious if we saw it after the reveal.
    9 Just above the TV to the right of the TV stand pole are 2 whiteish bricks. They darken as he pauses in front of the TV just before he walks over to make the reveal.

    HOW IT’S DONE (well sort of)
    OK so I’m not certain on the exact set up but I believe it involves sliding mirrors, a forced perspective set, a second identical set and an accomplice who can place the ‘predicted’ balls (though this could be automated in the giant ‘flatscreen’ TV box.

  167. Maybe it’s the same there, but in America, during NFL football games, the broadcaster has a program that allows them to show graffics on the field (like first down markers & lines of scrimmage). It only shows on the green part of the field, so it doesn’t cover the players or the hash marks. It also stays put as the camera moves – even at a fast pace.

    My theory is that he is using something similar to that – which will explain why the numbers move as the balls move.

    Maybe the balls had green marks on them – the way a digital clock is (you know? Like the number 88 on all of them). Then a program turns it into the lottery numbers by changing the parts needed to form one of the numbers black & changing the other parts white. I hope that makes sense.

  168. The snowflake could be a visual cue for when the viewers will find themselves ‘frozen’ or ‘stuck to the sofa’?

  169. Derren has lernt to speak backwards.

    He pre-records the first part of the show (with the lotto live being displayed “greenscreened”, note he doesn’t write down anything or commentate on the draw). He is actualy stood to the side behind the balls, as the numbers are drawn the balls are set up (facing the camera), then speaking backwards he reads out the drawn, turns the balls back to face away from the camera and walks back to his previous position. At this point it is spliced to the live footage and played in reverse as him going forwards.

    Fits with the timeing, camera shake and the trailers with all the backwards stuff… and the left hand bias.

  170. ok heres my guess and its probably one of the stupidest but if the set was actually fake and used one of those blue screens or green screens then a person could have clearly walked on without being seen they just have to wear the specialy designed coloured clothes and face paint iv seen it done before to make people have floating heads or floating hands this would mean that someone could be clearly standing behnd the balls putting stickers on them or something it might explain theslow rise of the left hand ball i agree that most of he ideas mentioned are high possibilities but just giving something else to think about


  172. Heres no so much my idea but one thing, The Second camera he showed.. was never used once from what i remember, second he could have said the numbers a they are mearly a prediction thats like making a law against guessing the numbers, other people may have said this, he mentions this is a year of my life, which leave me thinking similar to the Last one he done with the coins, but i cant see him doing the same thing again its not his style.. hmm anyone elses thoughts? shakey camera i think was put their on purpose to make people think that it was a split screen thing he also says 5 of the 6 two or threee times and the way he says it sort of implys something, the answers are their its just puttig them together.
    On the other hand wait till later tonight

  173. Dear Moderator,

    Why was mine deleted? Was I right?!?! I know it’s not because I used bad language – since I don’t cuss (ever).

    My theory is that I’m right!

  174. My theory is that he used the same program the NFL uses when broadcasting football games. It allows them to place graphics on the field – like first down markers & lines of scrimmage. It only shows up on the green parts of the field, not the players, refs, or logos. The graphics stay in place as the camera moves – even at a fast pace – Which would explain how the numbers moved as he moved the ball.

    Maybe he had green markings on the balls – like 88 on a digital clock. Using the program, they could change the green parts needed to make a number to black. And they could change the parts they don’t need to white…. (Example on a digital clock: by taking away the top line, the botton left line, the botton line, it creates a 4…. In this case: The top line, the bottom left line, & the bottom line are all changed to white. The rest is changed to black – Creating a 4!)

  175. I would just point out to those mentioning a marker on the floor that this is not unusual with any performance be it televised, filmed or live theatre. The marks on the floor are quite normal.

  176. As Time Lords often do, Derren reversed the polarity of the neutron flow – you can see quite clearly here on this REVERSED footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQB8E7eV9QU 🙂

  177. Anyone notice that the odds are none of these theories are right? They have moderators do you really think they would post the correct theory on a page they made themselves to ruin their own show?


    None of these theories are right or else you wouldnt be seeing them right now. It’s the only option.

    I will say though that i am very excited to see how its done because i dont have a clue

  178. Camera trick, split screen style.

    Perhaps the hint is in the trailer for the show where Derren juggles with one hand while talking to camera. Obviously a camera trick.

    Don’t think you need to film multiple combinations as there is plenty of time from selecting the balls to the final presentation in their numerical value. Enough time for someone to place the real balls and merge the picture.

  179. Some great ideas – love the 14 million clones!

    What’s certain, of course, is that Derren didn’t know the numbers before they were drawn. So, after we’ve ruled out the impossible it seems some kind of camera/digital processing trick was involved. I agree with those who would be disappointed if that’s the case as it will undermine our trust in Derren not to use camera tricks in the future.

    There’s an excellent Youtube video here http://bit.ly/bjYzY demonstrating how it could have been done using an editing trick.

  180. It is not consistent with his big reputation for Derren Brown to stoop to low camera tricks. I have a different theory for this excellent illusion.

    At the beginning of the illusion we can only see the back half of the balls. Maybe the front halves (with the numbers on them ) are added later after the numbers are announced, but without us being able to see this from our front-on camera angle.

    I am thinking the studio back wall is really a fake – a large printed curtain close to the balls with a narrow slot cut in it and a mirror underneath to hide the assistant’s legs. You can actually see the curtain reflected in it. The back half of the balls could be magnetic and be loaded directly from the back. (the one angle we cannot see)

    We would not be able to see the slot in the curtain or the back half of the balls being loaded because of some thin black card covering the tops of the balls and blending into the features of the wall. Derren then disposes of this card by slight of hand when his black suit is behind the stand and the card blocking our view is thus invisible to us. It appears like he hides it behind the large white card he is holding. He then puts his hands behind the stand to show that we can see right though the stand and the illusion is complete.

  181. So the snowflake is a clue to who it was done?

    Perhaps it is to do with temperature. The balls are white because they are frozen. Then in some way heat is applied to melt the numbers in to show the black from underneath the ball.

    Or more likely – in that way of not at all likely – Derren just fixed the balls with his cold stare which froze the numbers in.

  182. Please can we agree that anyone who honestly believes any kind of advanced maths can predict the lottery numbers is too stupid to contribute to this thread.

    Each number that is picked is wholly independent of the others. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is just as likely as any other combination (although for them to come out in this order is a 1 in 10,068,347,520 chance)

    There is no way of predicting what will come out. The person who suggests that when the button is pressed makes a difference, yeah, sure it does, but so do subtle variations in the earth’s gravitational field, atmospheric pressure, studio temperature.

    Give up on the maths ideas, they are a dead end.

    Whatever DB shows tonight will be part of a solution but I’d bet not the solution.

  183. Watch the footage on 4oD – it’s clear that as he enters the ‘studio’ and walks over to the television, he looks down to find his marker on the floor, this is so he is standing in the same spot for the cut away to the ‘other’ camera and back to the ‘hand held’ camera – but when it cuts back, the camera is clearly on a tripod with artificial shake added for effect. I think this is where the actual ‘live’ segment of the programme begins – everything up to that point is pre-recorded. This makes you think that the ‘main’ camera is handheld (as you have just ‘seen’ the cameraman in the cut away)
    The camera on a tripod with artificial shake would make it easy for a split screen effect – the clues are:
    A few seconds of completely frozen camera when he is reading out the numbers (impossible with hand held)
    The jerky pan round when the camera zooms to the balls on the stand – poor control maybe due to the computer controlled camera, but still an obvious tripod movement rather than hand held.

    Or of course, he may just be a jedi.

  184. 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.

  185. just to be clear about the statistics thing..

    you can flip a coin 10 times in a row on heads, just as derren has shown, but even if you do, the chances of the next coin coming up heads is always 50 50. Any sequence of heads and tails is as likely as any other, and every flip is independent of any that have gone before.

    Any statistical analysis theory for the lottery is always pointless. It doesn’t matter what balls have come before in the entire history of the lottery, each time a set of balls comes out the chances of a specific combination are always the same, astronomically high.

    So there is NO WAY that derren could use any information about previous lottery draws to predict the outcome, all the different chances are as probable as eachother.

    It’s a simple fact about probability that no-one ever seems to get right.

    just my $0.10

  186. Firstly I cannot believe that no one has even noticed or mentioned the whole perspective/distance thing going on with/between the ball stand and the TV stand. The ball stand is set way behind the the TV, just look out for the two enormous strides (one to the left and the other backwards) he has to take to get to the stand once has has turned the TV off, and also notice his height difference from when he was stood next to the TV (all be it in front of the set) and the height he his when he is stood behind the ball stand, he loses about half a foot in height. The whole ball stand looks completely odd to me in perspective anyway as it base is very oddly shaped and adding to this the whole camera angle is set at an angle to the wall behind.

    Also at the beginning when he walks into the studio and says ‘for security reasons’ and then goes onto tell us that its supposed to only be him and two camera guys you can clearly see someone in the right hand window (above the doorway he walked through) overlooking the whole thing. Add to that, that he clearly looks beyond the camera many a time especially when finding out whether it is time for the draw and at the end when he is told to rap up the show.

    Furthermore on reveal of the balls I have noticed that he has something up his left sleeve (our right) which looks rectangular in shape, very odd I find. I know that people are suggesting that when he is stood with his hand over his mouth when the numbers are being drawn that he is telling someone the result but surely he needn’t do that as the TV is probably load enough for them to hear (as the mics manage to pick it up fine) or if they are in another room they can watch it for themselves.

  187. The simplest solution could be: Misdirection and Showmanship.
    “not being able to reveal the numbers before the draw” changes to: not being able to reveal the numbers before “broadcasting” the draw
    Although I believe it must be something more elaborate, or at least the reveal will be more elaborate.
    I´m just sorry I live in Portugal and cant see the Friday show.

  188. Frozen balls, what was I thinking?
    Balls made from light sensitive crystals. Now that’s my new bet!

  189. The end of the show is filmed backwards -with Derren moving and talking backwards. This is from where the TV is turned off after the draw I think. Incidentally this is exactly one minute before the end of the show – and timing is everything with this illusion!

    We see the last minute then played backwards (so it appears just a continuation of the live show).

    As the revealing of the balls is recorded with Derren speaking backwards, Derren has time to select the winning balls after they have been drawn, then record the end of the show backwards.

    The show finishes before the point at which he changed the podium balls – i.e. the start of his reverse segment, but which would be at the end the way the last minute is played to the audience.

    To achieve this I think Derren must have been ‘frozen’ at some point (where he is still, silent and with hand over mouth, perhaps). This might explain the advert with the snowflake…

  190. Well… The left ball suddenly rises a half-centimetre after the numbers are drawn but before Derren walks to the balls.

    There is either a split-screen or some mirrors or something else that prevents us from seeing an accomplice replacing the existing balls with numbered ones.

    The container where the balls are put is very narrow to ensure that the balls will be in exactly the same spot as the old ones, but alas, the ball on the left wasn’t inserted entirely on level with the others, revealing some of the trick.

    The container leg is probably fastened to the floor while the accomplice (the other camera man?) is changing the balls.

    It seems the revelation will be an anti-climax, because it should be more exciting than mirrors or split-screen, it all seems too regular. Still, this is all really fun, the whole world has got something to use their brains on!

    The other camera will probably be central in revealing how the trick is done.

  191. In response to people who think he was talking to people telling them the numbers as he had his hand over his mouth – why wouldnt they just be watching the tv to get the numbers?

  192. There’s whole perspective issue going on – the ballstand is way behind the TV, and Derren’s height changes dramatically when he moves to it. Not sure of the significance though.

  193. Im sticking with the ruling that live TV does infact; have a 5 min dely (for Political Correctness reasons). With that, i believe derren brown was filming this stunt in the same studio as the Lotto (forget the bbc/c4 issue), possibly opposite each other in the same room. He would therefore know the outcome of the results before it was shown on the tv behind him. The first 2 minutes or so of the footage was pre-recorded, so as soon as the results were given he wrote on the balls and then continued to act his ‘live’ show (5 mins later)

  194. Here is my guess.

    1. Camera work and split screen are involved, but not how we think.
    2. When the draw starts, Derren watches the drop of the balls.
    3. He says he has spent the last year determining likely outcomes from the first few seconds after the balls drop.
    4. Once he puts his hand to his mouth, the entire screen is frozen (not just the left hand side).
    5. Derren has perfected that pose over the last year (watch him check he is standing on the right spot).
    6. Derren himself then walks to the stand!
    7. The TV is a green screen to allow this to happen.
    8. He quickly picks up the 6 balls (from 49 available) that he has calculated in 3. above and puts them in the tray in order.
    9. He does this before the lottery numbers are drawn.
    10. He walks back to the right hand side and resumes his pose.
    11. The camera fades back in to the live picture, deliberately shaking throughout to disguise.
    12. The left hand ball is slightly too high (error or deliberate?) and this is the exact moment the live pictures recommence.
    13. The ’second cameraman’ films all this happening and we will be shown those pictures tonight.
    14. In the programme tonight Derren will give us all sorts of ‘probability’, ’studying the balls for a year’, etc.
    15. We will believe that he did actually predict the numbers and placed them in the tray himself before they were drawn.
    16. He must have done as we will see it on the film from the ’second camera’. And we will be amazed.
    17. But actually that’s not how he did it after all, it’s just how he wants us to believe that’s how he did it!
    18. And he really did it some other way (split screen with ’second cameraman’ placing the balls after they were drawn?)
    19. He certainly did not actually predict the numbers before they were drawn.
    20. So the real illusion is tonight when he tricks us into believing he predicted the numbers.

    You heard it here first.

  195. Why do people reckon that he put his hand over his mouth to tell someone the numbers.
    The lottery is a live TV show – the draw is on the screen. Anyone can watch it to find out the numbers – it’s not just Derren finding out the information!

  196. E-balls? No way. It’s an obvious cheat.
    Stickers put on after the draw by DB? Don’t be ridiculous, there’s not enough time for even master-slight-of-hand Derren to put all those numbers on the balls in time.
    LED balls? Too obvious and not Derren’s style.
    Mirrors… would make the most sense as all the trailers have been back to front and reversed.
    Snowflake? Something about freezing?

    I just can’t WAIT until 9pm!!

  197. i am not sure how he did it, but when he was writing the numbers, it did not look like he was writing 2 and 11. it looked more like the first number he wrote down was 1 and for the second number he wrote it in 1 stroke. I think only afterwards did Derren actually take to our screens and he himself was somehow involved in replacing the balls. Maybe the ball being slightly higher was on purpose. I sure will be watching tonight anyway!

  198. Ok, I’ve figured it out now. The snowflake is a clue – that he froze the left half of the screen at somepoint just after the numbers were known, and an assistant replaced the balls with the correct numbered ones just after they were drawn, hidden behind the stationary masked image. Then the live image is replaced afterwards just before DB walks to them.

    At the start the wide shot of the studio is prerecorded. When it goes back to the near shot, the camera is (possibly a different camera) mounted with a tripod and is held relatively still. Computer generated shaking is put on. The clues given here is the preview and advertisement to the show – all of them having video effects to them.

    I believe this is the most rational and plausible explanation for this trick.

  199. Isnt it simply a version of Peppers Ghost ?

    Not that Derren is ever going to tell us what he actually did !

  200. The mid-week lottery draw is at 8 p.m.

  201. To track camera movements in greenscreen scenes on films they have markers on the greenscreen which they can use to make sure the background is moved correctly. They could’ve done this using markers on set and then had a green cloth cover the area where the balls was as they switched them for ones with numbers on, taken away the green cloth once they were done and we wouldn’t know.

  202. This may sound stupid but in all the interviews I read and during the show he said it was the culmination of a year’s work. I think this means for the past year he’s recorded every main Lotto draw and then the odds of the number being picked drops each time. After all it’s called how to win the lottery; he said he could tell us how to do it too so there has to be some technical formula…

  203. did nobody else see the episode of trick or treat with david tennant? in it he put david in a kind of trance and he managed to guess a few things which appeared in a newspaper a day or so after. surely this is the same principle, its just taken a year to refine the skill to get the precision needed for all 5 numbers.

  204. Invisible pixies – simples!

  205. I have no idea but he’s gonna tell us something so that it needs loads of work to actually win it(he says it took him a year and he studied the lotto numbers over the year) so people won’t be too bothered about doing it themselves…its like in the film 21 where they tell you how to do it but its really complicated and takes almost 6 months to practise and get it perfect so no one is gonna really try it.

    The second camera could be for tonights show for some reason or another

    There might be something to do with reverseness or backwardsness but i think that will be for later on because its become an obvious clue so it might be for another event. i think fourth as the advert had the lottery advert (event 1) the stuck to my sofa thing (event two) the man u thing (event 3) and then event 4 the taking down a casino ‘with a twist’ i believe will be about reversing things

    but i’m not sure what to do with the snowflake clue

    so basically i can’t wait to find out how he did it tonight 🙂

  206. Of course we are probably all way off..lol

  207. I think it doesnt matter which method of prediction Derren used to figure the numbers.

    Next week is about controlling the nation. Sooooo. Here is how he controls the nation.

    He tells us how to predict the lottery, people believe in his system, and all go out and buy lottery tickets next week, despite having already shown them it is a trick.

    Next week he is laughing, as he manipulates us all further having already implanted certain things in our heads prior to the controlling the nation show.

    It is a classic build up, to keep us all hooked, and get results from it.

    Genius. Thank you Derren. 🙂

  208. haha i love all these wild theories!

    heres mine

    i think he worked for ages looking at all the lottery numbers that have come up over the past year or more, i think once u start looking at the numbers u can figure out a probabilty or work out which numbers should come up

    however it is still realy dodge soo well done derren for gettin it right am sure it was not easy at all

    i think it was based on something like the trick he did with the dogs at the races were every bet he put on won


  209. I think a lot of people have probably tried seeing the probability of each number coming out the draw and a pattern would be realied by now. Working for the past year might either be a cover or maybe the general technical side of how it’s all going to work.

  210. It’s very simple, really. It’s the anthropic principle in action.

    Derren has spent a year hypnotising his way into missile silos across the world, hard-wiring thousands of ICBMs into his own personal extinction network. A-bombs, H-bombs, neutron bombs, everything was under his control.

    Derren Brown is a terrifying man, you see.

    He had a button hidden on the palm of his hand, to be pressed with his tongue the instant a ball was drawn that did not match his selection. Upon pressing the button, the ICBMs were launched, exploding minutes later over cities and towns around the world, obliterating every last scrap of human population. His resolve was absolute. His will was pure iron. As the balls rolled his tongue shot out again and again, putting an end to every other branch of possibility but ours. Forests burned, deserts turned to glass, the hardy horsemen of the steppes were knocked from their steeds and hit the ground as piles of ash.


    This happened many times in other branches of the multiverse, not ours. Here we are, expressions of an unlikely possibility: we just happen to be the surviving versions of ourselves in the multiverse-branch where the numbers came up.

    And now…we will celebrate him.

  211. Ok this is THE answer everybody has been waiting for (or at least how I have romanticised Derrens efforts in our collective willing that it be something quite cosmic and ethereal so as to transcend our humble capacities of “mortal” understanding. Though we know this must not be the case as he so candidly explains at the start of each show “I can’t do I’m just quite intuitive at times”)… so,

    I think he spent 12 months doin a Russell Crowe in “A Beautiful Mind” with reams of all the previous National Lottery draw results plastered all about the walls of a room in his house, and spending countless hours scrawling and circling number sequences and patterns, cross-referencing the “predictabilities” of these naturally ocurring number sequences utilising various properties of the Pythagorean, Fibonacci, Euclidean systems et al… and as a result Derren had undoubtedly concieved that on the

    9th day, of the
    9th month, of the
    9th year

    there could wholly and unequivocally be only ONE SINGLE concievable set of draw results that would be 2, 11, 23, 28, 35, 39.

    So it was written. As determined as the sun was to rise that morning, the physical laws that govern our Universe were read by Derren, not without great toil and endeavour, and presented him with the sequence he sought.

    “Ha I found you out Derren- BUSTED! Nice trick, have you got anymore ;)”

    But seriously, how much am I looking forward to seeing the show tonight!


    ### Feel free to give your thoughts on my solution, I think you will find it water-tight 🙂

  212. My theorie is that some how he distracted us all and someone changed the numbers.

    I don’t really have a clue!

    It’s just amazing!!!!

  213. Derren Brown is just that good.

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