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Derren Brown spills secrets of Lottery trick

Derren Brown spills secrets of Lottery trick
Derren Brown spills secrets of Lottery trick (Image credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima)

Illusionist Derren Brown has left TV viewers baffled with his explanation of how he managed to correctly predict Wednesday's Lottery numbers. Brown - who had promised to reveal the secrets of the trick on Friday on the Channel 4 (opens in new tab) show How To Win The Lottery - said he used a technique known as the "wisdom of crowds". He explained that he got a panel of 24 people to write down the predictions after putting them in a trace like state. Derren said, "All of my 24 people who were there know what happened and the success they had. "But it's quite possible that many of you simply won't believe it. So you may choose not to believe any of what I've told you. Maybe you'll still believe that it was some sort of 'super technology.' What you choose to believe is up to you." However Oxford maths professor Roger Heath-Brown said the explanation was "complete rubbish" - while Cambridge professor David Spiegelhalter added that the numbers were "unguessable". Channel 4 chiefs said that Brown's stunt, which was screened on Wednesday night, pulled in 300,000 more viewers than the 2.4m who tuned in to the actual Lottery draw on BBC1. And Derren - who claims that Channel 4 banned him from buying a ticket for Wednesday's draw - says he has bought a ticket for Saturday's draw. His spokesman said, "Derren has bought a ticket - and it is not a lucky dip."

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.