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Derren Brown bets his career on winning the lottery 07/09/2009
He has controversially played Russian roulette on camera, held a seance and manipulated audience members into robbing a security van. Now Derren Brown is promising to predict the results of the National Lottery this Wednesday, and explain how to take down a casino. Presumably Channel 4's funding problems will soon be a distant memory – although Brown has apparently been banned by the broadcaster from buying a ticket.

You can hear more of Brown's plans via this videocast distributed this morning. (So that you're not disappointed: it's more of a recorded press release than insight into Brown's mind.) It sounds like heady stuff: ambitious, exciting and possibly unpredictable television – although the fact Brown says there will be a "special twist" to the casino event suggests it will not, in fact, be a how-to guide to break into a vault and run off with all the cash. Television, eh? All hype.

And yet I'm finding it tough to get really excited about Brown's lottery predictions. Perhaps it feels too close to last year's special on betting. Or maybe we're getting to the point where we've seen Brown pull off one stunt too many: each time the stakes are raised, and each time it becomes more difficult to grab an audience with the idea. Derren Brown brings down a casino? Well, that's what you'd expect, isn't it. He almost seems undone by his own ability.

I will nevertheless be watching on Wednesday to see if Brown does manage to get all six national lottery numbers correct. If he does, I imagine several million people will tune in to the programme on Friday that will explain how he did it. If he gets the numbers wrong, however, things presumably won't look so good for the rest of the series. What will Friday's show then be called: "How not to guess the lottery numbers correctly"? Loads of people do that every week without any help whatsoever.

The Events is high-risk stuff all right: Brown is effectively betting an entire television series on winning the lottery. That's not quite as potentially fatal as pointing a gun at your head and shooting, of course. But in terms of his career, should Wednesday's stunt go wrong, it's probably not far off.

First show 22:35 Wednesday 9th September. Don't miss it!