Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday 9 September 2009

It could be you....and you....and you...

‘The Lottery – a tax on people who flunked math’ (Monique Lloyd)

Quick! Grab a pen and paper – Derren Brown’s going to predict the lottery numbers!

Sadly for those who fancy riding on his elegant coat-tails to untold riches, this latest stunt will doubtless involve some kind of envelope, frustratingly sealed from the eyes of slavering viewers until after the draw has taken place.

How much more fun would it be if he announced the numbers before the draw? A bumper day for newsagents and kiosks up and down the land as customers flock in for their tickets, travel chaos as queues reach unprecedented lengths and millions of people sitting down breathlessly in front of their televisions, each fervently clutching a sheaf of winning tickets.

And best of all, the expression on their faces when they realise that their share of the prize money will be about 57p. If Brown kept the numbers to himself, of course, he could clean up – every week! At least he could if he weren't such a principled individual; naturally that must be the only thing stopping him.

In the words of Jay Leno, “Here’s something to think about; how come you never see a headline like ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?

Update: Comment from the TimesOnline article:
'What he's done here is spend the last year pre-recording all 14 million (or whatever) outcomes! Then as he has walked from the TV over to the balls they spliced in that pre-recorded segment.'


  1. What should worry everybody in the UK is that buying Lottery tickets with cash from purchases foregone and economies made is currently the only investment decision that makes any sense. Work it out.

  2. As ever, Demetrius, I bow to your superior knowledge of economics.


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