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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Derren Brown and the Lottery

Oh well... here is how I think he did it.

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!

I will have to wait for Friday before I find out if I am right. What do you think?

For those of you that don't read comments I am adding this!:

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!!

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.

7 comments:

Niki M said...

That's a really good theory Jimpow and one that fits with what you see on the footage here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O4Vtz_6pUs Derren switches off the TV, literally stops stock still, and there's even a gap between 'these are' and 'the lottery numbers for this week'. It totally fits with how he talks about setting up the show and it taking him a whole year too.

However, there's one problem with that. The card he's carrying in the second half of the show has to have the correct lottery numbers on it when he compares it to his predictions. They can be one out, but he is supposed have written the numbers down from the screen he was just standing at. That means that for each of his number set predictions he'd have to film a bit of a footage where he got them and right, and another bit where he got five numbers out of the six. All the possible combinations of the five numbers out of the six. Doesn't that take us back to the 14 million permutations again? It might not. I'm still trying to get my head around it...

Funki Jimpow said...

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!!

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.

Niki M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niki M said...

Jimpow - he has to have a clip to splice on with the correct lottery numbers on the card. That means he has to film clips with all the possible different permutations of lottery numbers on the card and might as well have them on the balls as well. Without using cheap camera trickery (below him, surely) you can't separate his prediction from the numbers written on the card. It does take us back to the 14 million...

Funki Jimpow said...

Either way I can't wait to find out!

Sharon in Wonderland said...

NIKI M said:
"Jimpow - he has to have a clip to splice on with the correct lottery numbers on the card. That means he has to film clips with all the possible different permutations of lottery numbers on the card and might as well have them on the balls as well."

But the card was written LIVE on the right hand side of the screen.

The card *has* to be written live seconds after the live broadcast.

He then walks to the LEFT screen (split screen, pre-filmed).

*If* he has footage that only matches 5 of those numbers, his team run the footage of the 5 balls and Derren holds up the card and says "look I was close I got 5 out of the 6 correct".

But as it happens they did have footage that included all 6 numbers.

In reducing the number of scenes to be shot to 1,000,000 he would remove all "obvious" selections like:

1,2,3,4,5,6
11,12,13,14,15,16
1,2,10,20,30,40
5,10,15,20,25,30
2,4,6,8,10,12

So that he only needed to shoot footage of winning combinations that would appear to be much more *random* (numbers that have no correlation to each other).

Funki Jimpow said...

Agreed Sharon!