Next month: January 2006
So began my usual mention that "these figures are on your public phone line, but not on your public Web site" conversation-starter that I have every Friday or Saturday with some poor sap on the Camelot phone line. It usually ends there with "oh, I didn't know that" and I give up prodding for any reasons (been there, done that, didn't get the T-shirt).
However, this guy got my hackles up by expressing astonishment that I've been given these figures every week with little or no hassle by various different people answering the phone line. It was like "I can't find the info on the screen in front of me, so how could anyone else have done so?". This further fuelled my paranoia about the info being withdrawn from the phone line, so I expressed my astonishment at the figures not being easy to hand (I suspect the reason is that the guy was a newbie and didn't know where to find them).
Of course, once I get my engines revved up about it, I went into rant mode about why the figures are missing (it's clearly a Camelot PR move, just like the missing sales figures that Camelot eventually had to admit were removed for PR reasons) and the inconsistency of offering them on the public phone line but not on the public Web site (same thing happened with the sales figures debacle).
Of course, some jibes about the disastrous UK Euro Millions sales figures (less popular than Thunderball) and hence the rarity of UK jackpot winners had to be thown in (it all explains why Camelot U-turned on the column of UK winners on their official Web site after happily showing them for more than a year - they are clearly trying to hide the fact that the majority of draws have a UK top prize under 10 grand, which is worse than even the awful scratchcard games Camelot run).
Still, the poor guy listening to all this occasionally stirred me up further, finding it difficult to believe that it was a PR move to remove the figures (well, in the absence of any official explanation from Camelot, it's the mostly likely reason - especially when they made a technical rounding error of Euro Millions UK prizes on the site in the very week they dropped the figures and they fixed that within 36 hours, but left out the missing column of figures ever since). Ah well, 23 minutes on the line to Camelot and I decided to give up on the rant - that's cleared my rant buffers for another couple of months until something else triggers a flush...
Previous month: November 2005