Imagine that you have just stepped onto the down escalator at Angel tube Station at rush hour. Far below, in amongst the almost solid throng of people, your eye is caught by a girl (change gender as appropriate) stepping onto the escalator and travelling up in the opposite direction. Coincidentally she raises her head and looks up. She catches your eye and smiles. A surge of electricity fires through your body. You smile back. Most improbably she keeps looking at you and smiling. As you both get closer to the centre of the escalator you can sense an amazing connection with this gorgeous girl. And, instead of recoiling in horror as is usual, she appears to feel the same. You realise that you are going to have to say something as you go past. The crush of people means that you won’t have the time to circle around at the bottom, go back up, then try to follow and find her. No, you just have single chance as you meet in the middle. You are approaching now and you desperately try to think of what to say in that split second. Instead she leans as far as she can towards you, smiles one last time and quickly recites her phone number.

And then that’s it. You’re down towards the bottom and she is already way up near the surface. All you have left is the memory of that electricity and sense of connection…and, if you still remember them, the numbers she spoke to you.

All of which is by way of an introduction to a question I’d like to ask. Does anyone know of a method of remembering numbers? No, I’m not expecting to find myself in the situation described above but I am rather hoping that Lady Luck whispers some nearly-as-important numbers into my ear. And if I don’t have a way of quickly committing them to memory, I fear an opportunity will have been lost.

These numbers, as you may have guessed, are the lottery numbers. Never mind for the moment how I come to have them whispered in my ear (although I will get onto this in a future post), the fact is that unless I can recall them exactly right, I may as well not hear them at all. If we take the UK or EuroMillions games, we have a set of numbers ranging, roughly, from 1-50. It strikes me that this is close to the number of playing cards in a deck and as mnemonists routinely memorise multiple decks, there must be a reasonably easy (or at least well-honed) technique for doing this.

Does anyone know these techniques or can you point me to some relevant links on the web? Has anyone practised this sort of thing before and have any tips or tricks? Any feedback greatly appreciated.

(P.S. Those of you who have actually used the escalator at Angel and secretly wondered what it would be like to ski down it need wonder no more – ).