Millions tuned in to see lottery illusion

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The Independent Online

Derren Brown's apparently successful attempt to predict last night's lottery numbers was watched by more than three million people - more than half a million more viewers than the draw itself managed, Channel 4 said today.



The broadcaster showed the illusionist's latest trick across its entire network, and 2.7 million viewers tuned in to Channel 4, making the show the most-watched programme on terrestrial TV in the 10.35pm slot.

Broadcasting from a secret studio location, Brown told viewers he had written his predictions on a line of balls, which he then revealed after watching the draw live on BBC 1.

He said "That's a year of my life right there. I can't believe it", as he turned over the balls to reveal they were an exact match for the winning numbers: 2, 11, 23, 28, 35, 39.

According to Channel 4, while Brown was performing his stunt, BBC1 attracted 2.4 million viewers for the lottery draw; ITV achieved the same audience for the late news and weather; Channel 5 had 900,000 viewers for the film A Perfect Murder; and BBC2 had 750,000 viewers for Newsnight.

Ahead of the attempt, Brown was besieged on social networking sites by people desperate to know the winning numbers and how he planned to pull off the stunt, receiving nearly 100,000 messages over the course of the day.

After calling the numbers, Brown told viewers he would show them how he did the trick in another programme tomorrow night - How To Win The Lottery - but insiders warned people not to get their hopes up too much.

A source said: "Derren will be talking through a number of ways he might have pulled off his most ambitious stunt to date, but in true Derren style, he won't be giving too much away.

"He will be giving hints how he might have done it, but you won't get the full story."

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