The Lotto "miracle" performed by telly illusionist Derren Brown left millions mystified — but today a British newspaper revealed how he might have done it.
The Sun reckoned the slick magician used a "split screen" technique to make it look like he had correctly predicted the six winning numbers in the midweek National Lottery draw.
Their conclusion came after we called in experts who analysed footage of Derren's Wednesday night show — broadcast on Channel 4 at the same time as the draw was made on BBC1.
They believe the C4 screen was split in two — with the left side being a still image of the studio, containing a stand bearing Derren's "lottery balls," and the right side a live feed of the illusionist with a TV showing the Lotto draw.
One expert said, "This meant a member of the crew could write the numbers on the C4 studio balls as they were read out live on the BBC broadcast, without being seen by the C4 audience." Had Derren walked from one side of the set to the other, he would have "disappeared" behind the still image.
The expert said: "Once the draw was over, and the crew had written the numbers on the balls, the still image could be removed and Derren could cross the studio and show the balls to the audience."
Evidence includes a few seconds of the C4 show in which one half of the screen is static while a hand-held camera on Derren is slightly shaky.
Derren, 38, claimed he chose "his" numbers before the draw but was banned from revealing them by Lotto chiefs.
He has promised to reveal secrets behind the trick on television tonight. But fellow magician Paul Daniels said Derren would only give "gobbledegook" explanations.
Paul claimed there were 99 ways to perform the illusion, but added, "I'll never give away another professional's secrets."
Derren's show was watched by just over three million viewers — more than half a million more than the number who tuned into the actual draw.
(Click for full-size; opens in new window)Bursting with a Lotto pride ... Derren Brown shows identical lines.
(Click for full-size; opens in new window)1. Derren stands over 'his' lottery balls in the C4 studio before, our experts reckon, the left side of screen was cloaked by still image.
(Click for full-size; opens in new window)2. The illusionist watches the start of BBC1's lottery show. Now the left side of C4 screen is thought to be a still image of the studio.
(Click for full-size; opens in new window)3. Tension mounts as the winning numbers are chosen on Beeb. Derren watches in anticipation as the left of screen stays static.
(Click for full-size; opens in new window)4. Now he moves across the set, back to the ball stand on a live shot with the static screen removed. Hey presto, the numbers match.