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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHZ2mQczkcg
(Sorry if this is in the wrong board. I thought it seemed appropriate)