What's New On These Pages: July 2001
Next month: August 2001
- Saturday 28th July
It's unusual for a Saturday evening draw to clash with football,
but that's exactly what happened tonight (I was doing live text
commentary on the official Liverpool FC site - they lost 3-1
against Ajax in case you're curious).
This meant I couldn't do any chat room commentary or draw and
just stuck to updating the pages instead, which worked reasonably
well. I had to wait until full time to phone Camelot (about
90 minutes after the draw), so I undoubtedly lost out to teletext
(I didn't even bother checking).
- Wednesday 25th July
A surprisingly quiet evening in the chat room (maybe everyone was watching
Newcastle United's 3-2 win on Channel 5, but I somehow doubt it). Only a
few people in for the live TV show commentary and draw sadly, but at least
I beat BBC and ITV teletext to the full results, despite Camelot taking almost
a full hour after the draw to release them.
- Saturday 21st July
As usual, the Saturday visitors to the chat room have got
their entry time down to a tee - only a few minutes before
the Thunderball draw (but almost 20 minutes into the lottery
TV show), they all came popping out of the woodwork.
No problems with the live TV show commentary or draw, plus
Camelot were pleasantly quick with the full results for a
change - "only" 45 minutes after the draw instead of being
an hour or more. It meant I easily beat ITV and BBC teletext
to the full results, which is always a bonus.
- Wednesday 18th July
It was reasonably busy in the chat room today (some people
actually turned up 15 minutes before the TV show start,
which was impressive) and the live TV show commentary and
draw went fine. I put up the full results about 45 minutes
after the draw and easily beat ITV and BBC teletext to them.
Sent off my lottery subscription renewal (£208), which
will last me another year.
- Saturday 14th July
News broke at lunchtime of a West Midlands cable cut that left
1,160 lottery terminals dead in that area. No such problems here
in the North West, though people avoided entering the chat
room until just before the Thunderball draw was about to
take place (they're getting too clever at working out when
not to come in !).
The TV show commentary and draws progressed smoothly, though
Camelot took about an hour to release the full results.
I suspect ITV teletext updated inbetween my phone calls
to Camelot (and hence beat me to the full results by a
few minutes), but I definitely beat BBC teletext to the
- Friday 13th July
Bought two more lottery tickets (yes, on the "unlucky"
Friday the 13th) for tomorrow's rollover draw.
- Wednesday 11th July
It was surprisingly quiet in the chat room for tonight's
lottery TV show commentary and draw - the usual suspects
didn't turn up and new folks appeared just before the main
draw began. No problems with covering it, though Camelot
took a good 45 minutes to release the full results. I suspect
that ITV teletext at least tied with me for them, though I
certainly beat BBC teletext to the full results.
- Saturday 7th July
The first 10 minutes of the TV show didn't see a single soul
turn up in the lottery chat room, so the constant 7.30pm start
time for the lottery show meant people know not to worry about
even the Thunderball draw until at least 7.40pm.
More and more people gradually entered the room as the show
progressed and my lottery TV show commentary and draw went
fine. It took Camelot about an hour to release the full results,
which I put up before anyone else.
- Wednesday 4th July
A relatively quiet Wednesday draw in the chat room tonight
(perhaps the unusually warm weather was keeping people from their
machines), but the live commentary and draw went fine. I got the full
results up about 40 minutes after the draw and well before ITV or
- Sunday 1st July
I'd been intending to re-code the fixed filename (MiniBalls.gif) used for the
"mini-balls" on the home page to avoid potential image caching problems
(caused by a user's browser or their ISP's proxy server caching the image
longer than the HTML), but got spurred on to do so because some AOL user
ripped up their winning ticket because AOL had cached last week's Thunderball
graphic and it was displayed instead of the latest set of numbers (of course,
the image was correct [it was a caching problem], the ALT tag was correct as
well and so was the individual Thunderball lottery page, but that didn't stop
Quite why someone would rip up a ticket based on a cached GIF on an
unofficial lottery site is anyone's guess, but I guess the three letters
"AOL" might explain a few things. Anyway, the MiniBalls.gif files are now
called MiniBalls#.gif where "#" is the draw number modulo 10 (i.e. 0-9).
This means the balls have to be cached for 10 draws to repeat (10 weeks
for Thunderball or 5 weeks for Extra), which should be enough time to get
rid of them, whilst only needing to generate 20 mini-ball GIFs in total.
Previous month: June 2001