- Wednesday 30th October
Boguht one extra ticket online for this coming Saturday's
main Lotto single rollover draw.
- Friday 25th October
I think I've solved the mystery of last Saturday's main Lotto jackpot
prize - Camelot are operating the second scenario in section E(4) of their
page. For a rollover draw, the extra raffle prizes [50 in the case of last Saturday]
are paid with the rollover money and anything left of the rollover money after
that is added to the rollover draw's jackpot prize pool.
This fits in with my calculations now and I've split the description
on rollover pages like last Saturday's to explain that 1m (or 2m/3m/4m
if a multi-rollover draw) goes to the extra 50 (or 100/150/200) raffle
prizes. I wonder how many people know that their beloved main Lotto
rollover jackpots are being reduced by one or more million quid just
to dole out crummy 20 grand raffle prizes!
- Friday 18th October
Finally decided to remove the Lotto Plus 5 last ten tickets from the home
page and relegated LP5 to a link in the navigation (which I'll leave for
6 months and then remove).
- Thursday 17th October
Made some minor changes to the raffle ticket checker today.
I've finally included the TEAL colour (I'd got a loop wrong and the
last colour dropped off it!) and the checker defaults to latest Sat and
Wed draws in case people don't change it and think I only cover Sat draws :-)
I've also separated the raffle numbers in the CSV by commas inside the
final field's very long string because the official site's CSV does that too.
I did spot a multi-raffle number checker on the official site
(it's not where they show all the winning raffle numbers - it's
somewhere else!), so I guess that's the next enhancement then...
- Wednesday 16th October
Bought one additional online ticket for this coming Saturday's
main Lotto draw, even if Camelot can't work out the exact
amount that's rolled over as I type this :-) I think the last
time I tried to buy an online ticket inbetween the full results coming out
and 11.00pm on a Wednesday night, it said the main Lotto was closed,
but at 10.46pm tonight, it was still open, so no waiting until 8.00am
- Monday 14th October
Added a new main Lotto raffle ticket checker that's somewhat more useful
than the official one, hopefully! It doesn't let you check multiple tickets
at once, which isn't great and may be something I'll add later on.
- Saturday 12th October
So it looks like Thunderball is pretty well dead as far as seeing it
live on TV again. For the second Saturday in a row, the live TV show
didn't air the Thunderball draw live (showing a fixed caption instead),
so the only live draw left on TV is now the Saturday main Lotto one.
Bizarrely, Chris Evans boasted with glee that the Camelot official site
had crashed three times recently and then - after not showing any winning
raffle numbers on the show (forcing everyone to check online) - he equally
smugly claimed we'd see a 4th crash as he told everyone to check their
raffle tickets online. Sure enough, the official went down within minutes
of him saying that and when it came back 15 minutes later, it was quite
Annoyingly, although the official site put up the winning raffle numbers
on a generic "check your numbers page",
they didn't have them on an individual raffle draw page (they wait until
the main Lotto numbers are displayed to do that) and the HTML surrounding
the numbers on the two pages is actually different. Hence, I've adjusted
my scraping script to be allowed to be run manually to pick up the
generic version (when cron'ed, it'll only look for the individual
raffle draw page).
- Wednesday 9th October
Had my first "if only it had been a rollover" losing moment tonight
when my 5th ticket (only bought on quad rollovers now) would have matched
three numbers and won £25.
- Sunday 6th October
Spotted that the reverse-calculated ticket sales for the main Lotto
weren't a multiple of £2, so during the calculation (for draw
1856 onwards only of course), I add £1
if the sales are an odd number of pounds.
For main Lotto draw 1856 onwards, the prize table on each individual
draw page has changed the old "Totals" line to be "Sub-totals" instead.
New "Raffle" and "Totals" lines have been added to include raffle
info and combined main draw plus raffle totals. The split between
the main Lotto prizes and the raffle prizes is now shown (45.4%
for raffle prizes yesterday, but normally would be a single figure
Finished writing a scraper to grab the number of raffle prizes,
the value of a raffle prize and all the winning raffle ticket numbers
for a specified draw from the official site.
- Saturday 5th October
The live draw tonight was surprisingly early in the TV show, which at least
allowed them to announce provisionally that there was one main Lotto
winner of the £10m jackpot. It also dubiously meant they skipped
the live Thunderball draw (only showing a fixed caption at the end) and
they only showed one of the 1,000 winning raffle numbers (and it wasn't
even alphabetically/numerically the first either!).
I thought they should have had 50 screens of 20 winning tickets and zip
through them at a rate of 5 a second (which would only take 10 seconds!).
Instead they gave us an onscreen
to view the winning raffle tickets that didn't even have them on that
site! Instead, there's a raffle link there to the official site's
- Thursday 3rd October
Camelot have been surprisingly tardy opening their Web site back up again
for the new main Lotto. They left an "Apologies" message up since last
night with just the winning numbers for the latest draws shown. This meant
they pulled the Thunderball full results (which I auto-scraped) and never
showed either the main Lotto or HotPicks full results. It's 8.20am as I
type this and we still don't know if anyone won the jackpot last night!
Oh, I lifted the HotPicks full results from BBC teletext this morning,
though the teletext pages don't have anything for the Wednesday
main Lotto (even the winning numbers) as I type this.
Of course, no sooner had I left for work this morning (around 8.30am BST),
Camelot duly updated their Web site at long last with the full results for
last night's draws and opened up the ticket sales too. Trivia point:
Vodafone UK's mobile network ban my lottery site (which doesn't let you
actually gamble), but allow Camelot's to be viewed (which does let you
gamble)! I've submitted some feedback to Vodafone about this, but whether
they'll bother doing anything about the ban is debatable.
Bought a ticket online for each of the next two Saturday draws because of the
£10m Super Draw and 1,000 raffle tickets - quite why the Wednesday draw
gets no Super Draw love is beyond me. My tickets begin with the colour
"navy" (they're all four letter colours) and if you buy for multiple draws
like I just did, you get a single raffle number for all the draws. This is
different to my Direct Debit, where Wed and Sat raffle numbers will be the
same, but each pair of draws changes the numbers every week (I'd rather keep
the same numbers for the lifetime of my DD, but Camelot couldn't be bothered
- Wednesday 2nd October
Removed the Lotto Plus 5 page-scraping cron job now that the game - which I
always thought was utter rubbish and never played - has finally ended.
Spec'ed up all remaining coding tasks for the new main Lotto raffle.
They basically split up into:
- Separate data file with draw number, raffle prize and the raffle winning
- Conversion of data file into a C header file using an array with a
structure of two integers and one (very long) string with space-separated
winning numbers (Done).
- Displaying the number of winning raffle tickets, the prize and a pop-up of
the winning numbers on the home page and individual pages from draw #1856
- A search page that will allow you to select the colour (or "Any"),
up to 8 winning digits, the draw day/range and then display the matching
tickets/prizes that won (or string-matched if less than 8 digits were entered).
- Scraping the official site for winning raffle numbers (and maybe the
prize per winner if that's displayed).
My specs are a little more detailed than this, but I've covered all the
changes I'll be coding in the next few days. There will indeed be a mad
scramble this coming Saturday night to immediately manually convert whatever
raffle winning numbers page turns up into lines in my data file. Obviously,
it will be coded for automatic scraping after that.