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Backlash from fans at Derren Brown Lotto 'con'

by Angela Johnson. Published Sun 13 Sep 2009 11:02

Illusionist Derren Brown has been blasted by fans for his explanation of how he appeared to predict Wednesday's lottery results.

4.6m viewers saw him present Friday night's show during which he claimed to have asked 24 people to guess the six Lotto balls. He described the use of "deep maths" in finding predictability in random choices.

He proceeded to inform the audience the prediction was achieved merely by calculating the mean average of the total 24 guesses for each ball to predict the draw. Surely a calculation for a GCSE exam paper, not the stuff of complex mathematics?

At the climax of the show Derren bizarrely declared there was still a third illegal explanation that he "absolutely did not do" - fix the lottery machine.

After a tongue-in-cheek discussion of weighted lottery balls and hypnotising Lotto security guards, Derren proclaimed it was "just a trick" and he would never admit to doing anything illegal.

He may or may not have fixed the lottery machine - challenging any 'sceptics' to choose to believe the explanation they preferred.

Descriptions such as "total con" and "insult to insult to the intelligence of the viewing public" have been used in the hours following the big reveal, but Brown is sticking with his contention.

And on blogging site Twitter one fan said he was "still confused", while another called it a "massive letdown".

On Brown's own Twitter account, he said: "Well there you go. I trust all is clear now."

Wednesday's show on Channel 4 attracted 2.7 million people - beating the actual National Lottery Live Draw on BBC One, which 2.4 million tuned in for.

Brown successfully produced the correct numbers during the The Live Event programme, at the same time the actual numbers were drawn on the lottery live show.


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"Not sure what method he used, but I do know of a different way to predict lottery numbers, which is taught by Banachek in one of his books." Steve, USA around 4 years, 5 months ago

"What a bunch of losers you all are! I tell you what is entertaining is seeing the comments of grown people blubberring like babies over this" Mad Hatter, Wonderland around 4 years, 7 months ago

"you can easily created a live handheld effect on a static shot - you just need extra pixels outside the frame of the applied live cgi effect" Dom, Devon around 5 years ago

"My best guess is he used balls with an e-ink display (think Kindle), so as the numbers were called, the balls could be changed to match." JorickHorn, America around 5 years ago

"Michael in Belfast should get more plausible. "fixed machine" my elbow!!!" EdZ, Yarm around 5 years ago

"Fixed machine...lottery will never investigate because if true they would be shut down for good and owe people a lot of money!very plausible" Michael, Belfast around 5 years ago

"The events is all about misdirection, people are fighting over whether it was technology or a prediction,i think he actually fixed machine!" Michael, Belfast around 5 years ago

"He can't tell us how it was done, because it was a camera trick - not even worthy of being labelled a 'trick'. " Simon, Sydney around 5 years ago

"Derren never claims to be more than an illusionist and a trixter. This is just another entertaining trick and illuision. Keep up good work!" Will, Colchester around 5 years ago

"I loved the fact that Derren created a twist at the end of the reveal programme.He is an entertainer and I was entertained.Give him a break!" Claire Phillips, Romford, Essex around 5 years ago

"You people probably think the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park are real too. Are Brits really so dim that they're mesmerized by such simplicity?" johnnypadre, Belfast around 5 years ago

"He did not predict bonus ball to give additional time to place correct balls/numbers. " Keir Mclean, Stirling around 5 years ago

"He said that he would tell us how he did it. He did not. So why should we trust him when stated theres no split screen or camera tricks?" Andy C, Hornchurch Essex around 5 years ago

"All of you just grow up. Where do you get it from, it's TV, and he's succeeded in sucking you all in. That's the real trick." Paul, Liverpool around 5 years ago

"Would have been better if he'd told us the numbers just before (after all we couldn't have bought a ticket at that time) " Chris, Australia around 5 years ago

"EVERY live show implements a delay of 2-3 minutes between what happens in the studio and what you see on TV. This time Channel 4 did not." Darren Grundy, World around 5 years ago

"@Ed in Leeds: It was a static camera on a tripod, not a hand-held; the inital footage of him walking into the studio was pre-recorded." John, Hampton Court, UK around 5 years ago

"Split screen? The whole point of filming on a handheld camera was to show it WASN'T split screen! Its impossible to sync it with a handheld." Ed, Leeds around 5 years ago

"Laser, split screen, whatever - it's a TRICK. His explanation is a fob off. David Blaine followed - now THAT's sharp, entertaining magic." Roy Robart, London around 5 years ago

"Mind games from a mentalist? Lies from an illusionist? Whatever next? " Damian, Waterford Ireland around 5 years ago

"Hi did it by writing the numbers which used optical character recognition to imprint the numbers on the balls - easy!!!!" Simon Parker, Leeds around 5 years ago

"I think he's ace!! And he's proved the random theory works in his previous series...." Nicola, Manchester around 5 years ago

"At least he could have said: "Or there is a different explanation" (i.e. manipulate the balls in the studio, with a split screen)" Frederic, Hamburg around 5 years ago

"As Brown says himself he is an illusionist- therefore the act must just be a trick! He also wants to create this controversy about his work!" James, Winchester around 5 years ago

"The guys an "illusionist"and a brill' one at that, if he reveals how he did this tick he doesn't have an act anymore." terry, edinburgh around 5 years ago

"any one with an oz of experience with todays technology will know, one side is frozen and balls are changed when called then unfroze after " Gary, Derby around 5 years ago

"I was not impressed with this poor explanation at all, give us some credit!" Cindy, Hertfordshire around 5 years ago

"you must ask yourself, if he had the numbers on the balls from the start why did he do the trick in an empty studio.split screen thats why" Ian, Lincoln around 5 years ago

"How sad are you? It's called entertainment. Are you so sad to think he had worked out a way to beat the lotto? Sad, very sad." John, Wales around 5 years ago

"Who put the ram in the ramalama ding dong?" Terry Keely, Walton Le Dale around 5 years ago

"what do you expect, he has been getting away with this rubbish for years" tony, Bristol around 5 years ago

"brilliant, watching the friday show again with my daughter, come on guys its entertainment and the eaves family think he is brilliant" jacqui, blackpool around 5 years ago

"Feel let down with the poor excuse of an explanation although I am a massive fan and would love to have him work his magic on me.Ok Derren? " Keith Davies, Abergavenny around 5 years ago

"The man is a liar. He said he would tell us how the trick was done, but fed us total rubbish that the stupidest person would not believe." Nick Allen, Dorset around 5 years ago

"Oh, grow up Nigel. " Kai, London around 5 years ago

"He said he would tell us how it was done - he did'nt do this, he is playing mind ganes with us - as well as lying - Derren - you let me down" Paul, Lancashire around 5 years ago

"Simple: the balls are two numbers Liquid crystal displays - bluetooth operated. " Alexij, London around 5 years ago

"Dont play with our minds just keep your mouth shut pliz." snoopy, miltonkeynes around 5 years ago

"It's Derren brown, what do you expect, he's done too well" rocker, midlands around 5 years ago

"Why were the balls all white ? There lies the clue...! Blue/Green-screen trickery was used." Gabe, UK around 5 years ago

"He did the sums himself before the draw and didnt tell the team what they were. Thats cos he switched them by use of illusion" Simon, Sussex around 5 years ago

"I'd have had more respect for him if he'd just admitted he used split/screen trickery. No longer a fan" Nigel, Kings Lynn around 5 years ago

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