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David Lynch daily number
Via YouTube, David Lynch Theater

The mystery of David Lynch’s daily lottery

The filmmaker is picking a number from one to 10 at random every day on his YouTube channel – but there’s something weird about the number seven

While other lockdown trends have faded – Zoom quizzes, buzzcuts, Animal Crossing – one has stood the test of time: David Lynch’s YouTube channel. Launched in May, at the height of coronavirus quarantine, Lynch’s channel has been populated with weather reports, updates on what he’s working on in his studio, and even a couple of short films.

Despite recent comments suggesting that it may soon come to an end – the filmmaker said “there might be things coming along that would mean less time could be spent on the channel” – last month, Lynch launched a new series called “Today’s number is…”

The premise is simple: each day, Lynch announces the date, shows the viewer 10 ping pong balls in a jar – each of which is numbered one through 10 – swirls the numbers, before picking one and showing it to the camera.

As observed by The Guardian, Lynch is a fan of numerology, filling his 2017 Twin Peaks revival with “so many mysterious numbers that all manner of websites started to tie themselves in knots trying to decode their meaning”.

Something similar is happening in the comment section of Lynch’s YouTube channel. For the first 40 days of his “Today’s number is…” series, the director selected every number except for seven – reportedly his favourite number. A number of viewers noticed this trend, and began speculating on whether the selection progress was rigged. One in particular, a user called Wes W, was determined to see a seven pulled from the jar.

Under every video, Wes W would comment the same thing: “Man if tomorrow’s not a seven I’m gonna lose it.” Then, on Friday (September 25), Lynch picked a seven.

“Today’s number,” giggled Lynch as he pulled the ball out of the jar, “by golly. Today’s number, Wes, is seven.” Commenters, understandably, went wild. “WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE,” said one, while another simply wrote, “WES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” But… Wes W never commented. In fact, he’s never commented since.

Referencing Laura Palmer’s line in season two of Twin Peaks – which hinted at the show’s return in 2017 – one commenter said: “Wes: I’ll see you in 25 years.” Someone questioned, “... But where is Wes?” (another Twin Peaks reference), while another viewer addressed him directly, writing, “Wes, you got your number, and the director said your name, WHERE ARE YOU WES?”

Wes W’s YouTube channel has a black square as an avatar, and features just three videos. One of those is called “The Boys”, and sees Lynch introducing five Woody Woodpecker dolls, before thanking a cinema chain for supporting his 1997 film Eraserhead

David Lynch has uploaded three “Today’s number is…” videos since he pulled a seven – in those, he selected the numbers eight, five, and six. The filmmaker has never addressed Wes W’s mysterious disappearance, but viewers continue to speculate on his whereabouts in the comments. If you’re reading this Wes, are you OK?