# Thread: Is it possible for people to predict the lottery?

1. Last Wednesday, I saw Derren Brown apparently predict the lottery numbers correctly, and he explained how he did it on Friday. I don't know about anyone else, but I found his explanation completely implausible and I was quite disappointed (I am a big Derren Brown fan as well).

The method he claimed to use was to get 24 people to study a chart of all the previous drawn lottery numbers, and then use a subconscious technique called 'automatic writing' to get them to each write down the six numbers they thought would come out on the draw. He then took an average of these numbers to get the six he thought would be drawn. He used the notion of 'the wisdom of the crowd' as his basis for the idea. And it worked. Apparently.

But I'm not convinced, and neither are my family. The one thing that's really bugging me, is that the lottery is supposed to be completely and utterly random. The only way that I can conceive of the people getting it right, is that they subconsciously saw a pattern in the chart of previous numbers, and that they could use that to predict the future numbers. But the lottery's supposed to be random! There should be no pattern!

And another thing that's annoying me, is that he tried exactly the same tactic in the draw before Wednesday's, and they only got four numbers (I know even four's unlikely, but it's a damn sight more likely than six). The odds of getting six numbers are far far higher than getting four, so how did using the same technique yield more impressive results on the night he needed it to?

Can anyone tell me if his technique could actually work, or did he just cheat, and find some way to write down the numbers after the balls were drawn? It can't escape notice that he revealed his prediction AFTER the balls were drawn, which lends heavy credit to the cheating theory.

If you want to see Wednesday's show, there's a clip here:

(Sorry if this is in the wrong board. I thought it seemed appropriate)

2.

3. You are right, his prediction is nonsense. There is no pattern and you can not apply knowledge of previous draws to help predict future ones, assuming the draws are 100% random. Each draw starts from scratch. "Group knowledge" sounds a bit iffy to me in normal circumstance and utterly preposterous in this instance.

Let him post the results before the actual draw and watch him make a fool of himself (at least to people with half a brain, people are stupid :? ).

4. It would be a lot more convincing if he used this technique to actually win the lottery and claim the prize, and then explained how he did it after he had proven that it actually works.

5. let me just start by saying I highly doubt Derren actually predicted it
he is an illusionist and deals in making you think you are seeing things, the show is supposedly him beating the lottery It's far more likely an illusion aimed at the viewers making you think he did it

however it may be possible to predict the lottery
in 1891 a man calling himself Charles Deville Wells (he was arrested and found to have over 20 aliases but never revealed his true name) broke the bank at Monte Carlo casino (yes it inspired the song) by winning over 100,000 francs at roulette
now of course it's possible he just got exceptionally lucky...really truely unbelievably win the lottery 50 times in a row lucky. However he hinted that he used a very complex system and other gamblers heard him muttering to himself and doing mental calculations
of course, past outcomes have no influence on future outcomes, it's the most basic law of probability and makes things random.

However things arn't as random as we like to think, supposedly random things turn out to have an underlying system, things like the Fibonacci Sequence, and other sequences of numbers that crop up in supposedly random circumstances. Nearly Everything in existance is dictacted by strange sequences and numbers, from the pattern of a shell to the grouping of galaxies in the universe (search filaments and voids)
therefore it's possible that there is an underlying sequence that predicts the supposedly random draw of lottery numbers, we just havn't found it yet

6. Originally Posted by Incoming Dessert
Last Wednesday, I saw Derren Brown apparently predict the lottery numbers correctly, and he explained how he did it on Friday. I don't know about anyone else, but I found his explanation completely implausible and I was quite disappointed (I am a big Derren Brown fan as well).

The method he claimed to use was to get 24 people to study a chart of all the previous drawn lottery numbers, and then use a subconscious technique called 'automatic writing' to get them to each write down the six numbers they thought would come out on the draw. He then took an average of these numbers to get the six he thought would be drawn. He used the notion of 'the wisdom of the crowd' as his basis for the idea. And it worked. Apparently.

But I'm not convinced, and neither are my family. The one thing that's really bugging me, is that the lottery is supposed to be completely and utterly random. The only way that I can conceive of the people getting it right, is that they subconsciously saw a pattern in the chart of previous numbers, and that they could use that to predict the future numbers. But the lottery's supposed to be random! There should be no pattern!

And another thing that's annoying me, is that he tried exactly the same tactic in the draw before Wednesday's, and they only got four numbers (I know even four's unlikely, but it's a damn sight more likely than six). The odds of getting six numbers are far far higher than getting four, so how did using the same technique yield more impressive results on the night he needed it to?

Can anyone tell me if his technique could actually work, or did he just cheat, and find some way to write down the numbers after the balls were drawn? It can't escape notice that he revealed his prediction AFTER the balls were drawn, which lends heavy credit to the cheating theory.

If you want to see Wednesday's show, there's a clip here:

(Sorry if this is in the wrong board. I thought it seemed appropriate)
Darren Brown is a fake and the system used to produce the numbers is such that there is no way one could predict the lottery. The numbers are obtained by the the selection of balls being thoroughly mixed mechanically in a completely unpredictable manner. The dynamics is such that one could not predict the behavior from the laws of mechanics because of the lack of knowledge of initial conditions and because of the complexity of the patterns induced by fluid flow.

It is as close to truly random as one can get.

If you search the Ytube files (I don't have the link at hand) you will see a demonstration of how Darren Brown may have created the illusion using split screen technology.

7. If people were picking up lottery number patterns subconsciously, that would greatly change the odds of their winning - the lottery would be won far more frequently than it is, if even two or three numbers were somehow suggested in a pattern that could be sensed.

It's probably worth while to analyze lottery number patterns just to see if the machinery of the pseudo-random choice is working well, and contains no hidden biases.

in 1891 a man calling himself Charles Deville Wells (he was arrested and found to have over 20 aliases but never revealed his true name) broke the bank at Monte Carlo casino (yes it inspired the song) by winning over 100,000 francs at roulette
now of course it's possible he just got exceptionally lucky...really truely unbelievably win the lottery 50 times in a row lucky. However he hinted that he used a very complex system and other gamblers heard him muttering to himself and doing mental calculations
That's a good cover for a rigged wheel and a bribed employee - or even a complicit casino.

I'd imagine Monte Carlo made all that money back in a couple of months, as the story was broadcast and people convinced it was possible brought their systems and wallets to cash in. People with systems are a major source of casino revenue.

8. Of course
Darren Brown is a fake
You could predict the lottery, only if you could predict the future. There is no pattern. Even there is a pattern, I think it would be too many variables to be taken into account and would take too long to calculate something like this.

9. Originally Posted by iceaura
It's probably worth while to analyze lottery number patterns just to see if the machinery of the pseudo-random choice is working well, and contains no hidden biases.
I saw a fascinating show a while ago on different techniques that people use to cheat casinos. One of the incidents discussed on the show occurred in 1995, when a team of two guys learned the pseudo-random number generating algorithm used in a casino's keno game. It turned out that rather than using a new seed number for the PRNG each time, it worked some algorithm on the day's initial seed number to generate new seeds all day. The guys then tracked the output for part of a day until they were able to figure out the seed (with the help of computers in their casino hotel room) and purchased a winning ticked that got ever single number correct. They ended up getting busted for it because they didn't act surprised/happy enough about winning, which made the casino suspicious.

Of course, now no casino makes the mistake of using non-random seeds numbers.

10. So... basically, all Derren Brown managed to do is to lose some respect from rational thinking people...

This New Scientist article's got some interesting stuff about gambling...

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-gambling.html

The person in the casino with the computer is a bit later than that other chap, but still, it shows that you can appear to guess stuff while cheating.

11. Obviously if he could predict them he would have shown them before the draw
took place, however he didn't because he needed to know the number first so he could use a method to make the numbers appear on the balls.

So the only question is how did he make the numbers appear on the balls?

It was not easy to see the balls closely so not many clues but for example
the balls could have been display devices like the display on the calculator
where you just key in a number and it appears.

Obviously no keyboard there but it could easily be done by a remote keyboard
using a transmitter like a wireless keyboard.

Which incidentally is how Camalot ensure a close relative of a lottery employee wins the jackpot.

12. Can you prove that?

13. What and get myself jailed?
Not a chance.

14. So... that'd be a no then?

15. Originally Posted by Incoming Dessert
So... that'd be a no then?

No more of a 'yes, but I won't'

16. I'm happy to hear my friends using their reason to abuse, of the identity.
It's funny.

17. A question for you.

In whitch way could a rationalization of greek PI would be useful to adournate "casual prewiewing sistems" of knowlege?

18. (I'm new to the forum by the way) I agree with memero about the wireless keyboard-thingey :wink: The transmitter was probably located in some underground radiostation. Auto-plug triggered during the show, trashing out those numbers to the balls via his erected penis

19. Originally Posted by iceaura

in 1891 a man calling himself Charles Deville Wells (he was arrested and found to have over 20 aliases but never revealed his true name) broke the bank at Monte Carlo casino (yes it inspired the song) by winning over 100,000 francs at roulette
now of course it's possible he just got exceptionally lucky...really truely unbelievably win the lottery 50 times in a row lucky. However he hinted that he used a very complex system and other gamblers heard him muttering to himself and doing mental calculations
That's a good cover for a rigged wheel and a bribed employee - or even a complicit casino.

I'd imagine Monte Carlo made all that money back in a couple of months, as the story was broadcast and people convinced it was possible brought their systems and wallets to cash in. People with systems are a major source of casino revenue.
Undoubtably they made far more from the publicity, however the fact remains that he was somehow able to predict (or guess in such a way it appeared prediction) correctly enough times to win a near impossible ammount
I don't know for sure but what I read made it sound like the 100k francs was worth several million today (he retired to an island)

now the odds of winning that much through luck is insane, even with the backing of an employee or the casino, the odds of successfully winning so many times in a row is very unlikely, it's why it's only been done once...

there's also the problem with the Casino persueing him and prosecuting for theft, they wouldn't have if it was planned, they would have just publicised the fact he won so much

20. I don't believe Darren Brown should be called a cheat or a fake!
He is a magician, illusionist, conjurer etc. and probably quite a clever guy, altho' I was not particularly impressed by the lottery trick.
Years ago, I remember a well known British magician, called David Nixon, performing an elaborate trick (illusion), involving a river barge, outdoors. However the whole effect was ruined, for me, because the end result could easily have been achieved using a camera trick.
I am sure there are a number of relatively simple methods one could employ to achieve the same result as Darren Brown. Given that, I have lost some respect for him because of the way the trick was "hyped".
Lastly, anyone who believes it might be possible to predict the lottery result almost deserves to be cheated.

21. Im not sure if its possible to predict the lottery at all, and I highly doubt it is possible.. but I also disagree with the statement that the lottery is 100% unpredictable

If i were to guess there are 3 main things to consider in attempting to predict which ball would come out of the machine.(Im in South Africa, I dont know what machines they use elsewhere and if their the same but the balls are all juggled around in a machine being continuosly tossed into the air till a ball is selected)

that tells me the first thing to worry about is gravity. This pulls the balls back down to the bottom of the lottery machine and is a constant force on all the balls so not much of a differentiating factor.

The second force would be the force that the device applies to the balls. This I dont believe will be constant, no device at least man made can put out the exact same force on an object for hundreds of throws

The third force is the weight of the balls, (in the machines in SA and I assume elsewhere they stop getting tossed for a second then all the balls roll down and end up at the bottom and 1 ball falls through to become the lottory ball) this means that if they are slightly heavier they are more likely to become a winning number.

So I believe the predictability of the lottery could increase dramatically if people had all the information, thats the weight of the balls, sample data on each machine and the forces that they apply to the balls a computer model could once the info was sufficiently collected replicate the machine.

But I dont believe Darren Brown did any of this and what he did was make it look like he managed to predict the numbers

Im not sure if its possible to predict the lottery at all, and I highly doubt it is possible.. but I also disagree with the statement that the lottery is 100% unpredictable

If i were to guess there are 3 main things to consider in attempting to predict which ball would come out of the machine.(Im in South Africa, I dont know what machines they use elsewhere and if their the same but the balls are all juggled around in a machine being continuosly tossed into the air till a ball is selected)

that tells me the first thing to worry about is gravity. This pulls the balls back down to the bottom of the lottery machine and is a constant force on all the balls so not much of a differentiating factor.

The second force would be the force that the device applies to the balls. This I dont believe will be constant, no device at least man made can put out the exact same force on an object for hundreds of throws

The third force is the weight of the balls, (in the machines in SA and I assume elsewhere they stop getting tossed for a second then all the balls roll down and end up at the bottom and 1 ball falls through to become the lottory ball) this means that if they are slightly heavier they are more likely to become a winning number.

So I believe the predictability of the lottery could increase dramatically if people had all the information, thats the weight of the balls, sample data on each machine and the forces that they apply to the balls a computer model could once the info was sufficiently collected replicate the machine.

But I dont believe Darren Brown did any of this and what he did was make it look like he managed to predict the numbers
Darren Brown did none of what you suggest.

It wouldn't work anyway. The outcome is too dependent on initial conditions for that information to be useful in predicting the final numbers. And there is no way to know the initial conditions without setting them up yourself.

Consider a simpler form -- roulette. There you have a known wheel and a single ball. The laws of ordinary Newtonian mechanics apply and determine the outcome. But the outcome is sufficiently dependent on details of the initial conditions that no one has been able to devise a computer program that can accurately predict the final number. Programs have been devised that take information from a camera and predict a set of numbers that could be used to make profitable bets, but no one can predict the actual number on which the ball will come to rest.

23. if you think about it a sense (please do not criticize my point, as im not emphasizing but just a thought, but ill appreciate if you correct the mistake)

can you work out the number of possibilities using the permutation and the combination theorem?

24. Originally Posted by DrRocket
Im not sure if its possible to predict the lottery at all, and I highly doubt it is possible.. but I also disagree with the statement that the lottery is 100% unpredictable

If i were to guess there are 3 main things to consider in attempting to predict which ball would come out of the machine.(Im in South Africa, I dont know what machines they use elsewhere and if their the same but the balls are all juggled around in a machine being continuosly tossed into the air till a ball is selected)

that tells me the first thing to worry about is gravity. This pulls the balls back down to the bottom of the lottery machine and is a constant force on all the balls so not much of a differentiating factor.

The second force would be the force that the device applies to the balls. This I dont believe will be constant, no device at least man made can put out the exact same force on an object for hundreds of throws

The third force is the weight of the balls, (in the machines in SA and I assume elsewhere they stop getting tossed for a second then all the balls roll down and end up at the bottom and 1 ball falls through to become the lottory ball) this means that if they are slightly heavier they are more likely to become a winning number.

So I believe the predictability of the lottery could increase dramatically if people had all the information, thats the weight of the balls, sample data on each machine and the forces that they apply to the balls a computer model could once the info was sufficiently collected replicate the machine.

But I dont believe Darren Brown did any of this and what he did was make it look like he managed to predict the numbers
Darren Brown did none of what you suggest.

It wouldn't work anyway. The outcome is too dependent on initial conditions for that information to be useful in predicting the final numbers. And there is no way to know the initial conditions without setting them up yourself.

Consider a simpler form -- roulette. There you have a known wheel and a single ball. The laws of ordinary Newtonian mechanics apply and determine the outcome. But the outcome is sufficiently dependent on details of the initial conditions that no one has been able to devise a computer program that can accurately predict the final number. Programs have been devised that take information from a camera and predict a set of numbers that could be used to make profitable bets, but no one can predict the actual number on which the ball will come to rest.
yeah i know he did none of those things

I actually say it at the end of my reply put in bold here

As for the initial conditions I agree they would play a big part but I also think of the things that are predictable this is where to start

I wasnt saying it was predictable I was just saying using things like this it would become less unpredictable

As for the initial conditions I agree they would play a big part but I also think of the things that are predictable this is where to start

I wasnt saying it was predictable I was just saying using things like this it would become less unpredictable
Less unpredictable is a meaningless term. Rather like less pregnant.

26. Originally Posted by DrRocket

As for the initial conditions I agree they would play a big part but I also think of the things that are predictable this is where to start

I wasnt saying it was predictable I was just saying using things like this it would become less unpredictable
Less unpredictable is a meaningless term. Rather like less pregnant.
Its not a meaningless term in statistics, it means simply put ur making it more likely you would select a correct number.

If before u had a 1 mill in one chance u now have a 1 in 500,000 chance that simply put is "less unpredictable"

pregnancy is a either/or scenario

lottery is a a very different situation.

U can get half way to winning the lottery u cant get half pregnant.

On a side note:
Not sure why exactly u so keen to attack my posts in this thread I was just stating a view and ur first attack on something I actually said and now ur second attack on a relatively simple statistical term such as increased probability hence less unpredictable just makes me curious about the motives.

On a side note:
Not sure why exactly u so keen to attack my posts in this thread I was just stating a view and ur first attack on something I actually said and now ur second attack on a relatively simple statistical term such as increased probability hence less unpredictable just makes me curious about the motives.
It seems every forum has a "helicopter" member. They 'hover' over the forum waiting to pounce if someone says something they think is wrong. This wouldn't be so bad if they were neutral in their feedback; but they typically are not. They wrap their comments in criticism or sarcasm.

It stifles participation and forums become less active as a result.

28. Originally Posted by Ots

On a side note:
Not sure why exactly u so keen to attack my posts in this thread I was just stating a view and ur first attack on something I actually said and now ur second attack on a relatively simple statistical term such as increased probability hence less unpredictable just makes me curious about the motives.
It seems every forum has a "helicopter" member. They 'hover' over the forum waiting to pounce if someone says something they think is wrong. This wouldn't be so bad if they were neutral in their feedback; but they typically are not. They wrap their comments in criticism or sarcasm.

It stifles participation and forums become less active as a result.
Ots,

Sorry to intrude on your delusions with the odd fact or two.

But your mistaken view of almost everything does a disservice to the newbies who are actually trying to learn something

Anything tha stifles you can't be all bad.

29. Originally Posted by DrRocket
Originally Posted by Ots

On a side note:
Not sure why exactly u so keen to attack my posts in this thread I was just stating a view and ur first attack on something I actually said and now ur second attack on a relatively simple statistical term such as increased probability hence less unpredictable just makes me curious about the motives.
It seems every forum has a "helicopter" member. They 'hover' over the forum waiting to pounce if someone says something they think is wrong. This wouldn't be so bad if they were neutral in their feedback; but they typically are not. They wrap their comments in criticism or sarcasm.

It stifles participation and forums become less active as a result.
Ots,

Sorry to intrude on your delusions with the odd fact or two.

But your mistaken view of almost everything does a disservice to the newbies who are actually trying to learn something

Anything tha stifles you can't be all bad.
And this is why I stay on these forums cause I can express my view and even if I dont make it 100% clear some people will hassle me to make it clear while others will then make sure I get a chance to express my view

as mentioned in my status message below just trying to learn

Thanks DrRocket for making me be more clear and engaging me with the topic

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