Next month: September 2006
Firstly, he questioned the classicly badly labelled "No of winners" column (coming back quickly after he put me on hold to query me about it) and I had to explain - for the umpteenth time in the last year - that it's the "No of European winners" and he did seem to accept that and scuttled off for the info. He got hold of them fairly quickly and then read them out to me, but of course, like a dog with a bone, I didn't let go of the issue, so I expressed my regret as to the fact that these haven't been on the official Website for nearly 2 years, despite being on the site for a full year before that.
Tom then claimed that "we get a thousand calls a week and you're the only one who asks for those figures, so we took the column off because there's no demand for it". This seemed quite a brazen claim to make (I can't remember any other Camelot employee making this claim), so I expressed extreme scepticism about this, explaining that the column actually disappeared when they changed the official site's Web design, so it was probably poor Web designers ("I can't fit 4 columns into the new design, so let's have 3 instead") that influenced the decision the most.
Of course, he lost the argument when I asked him that if demand was the issue, then why can I phone up and get the number of UK winners in each tier, but can't use the official Web site to get the same info? It's that very inconsistency that's one of the big thing's that driving me nuts (and yes, costs me weekly phone calls to Camelot). Realising he'd lost the argument, he closed it off with the classic "we've been on the phone for 15 minutes now..." and I finished off the call thanking him for the info and hoping they'd fix the site some point soon (fat chance I reckon until the next Web re-design).
However, the £2 was deducted from my balance, I can view the purchased tickets online OK and I received the confirmation e-mail of the purchase, so it looks like it did go through. Not very confidence-inducing though - it was the first time I'd had an online purchase error page like that.
Also, I'm glad to see that the Dream Number that was picked for me randomly on the online main Lotto playslip (and didn't buy, remember) does not appear on your purchased tickets when you view them onlne (it says "DREAM NUMBER Not Entered", which is fair enough). Why bring this up? Well, the main Lotto tickets bought from a real-world lottery terminal (where again you don't buy the Dream Number shown on the playslip) do show the unpurchased Dream Number on the printed ticket, which is quite a scandalous "persuasion" technique to try to get you to buy Dream Number tickets in the future!
Previous month: July 2006