Next month: February 2016
It is a bit pathetic that the Web site can't display full results for maybe half an hour or so, yet the app could. So I decided to install the official lottery app on my Android tablet (I'd long since deleted it in disgust at how bad it was a while ago). It had indeed had an update since my last review of it and you can "properly" login now at long last. However, almost all the old issues were there sadly, so it didn't take too long to udpate my review.
Of course, the downer about having the full results in the Android app first is that I had to manually transcribe them, whereas I have auto-scraping code for the official Web site. I'm not sure I want to endure the pain of the official app too many times, so I'd rather work on code to auto-scrape the temporary results page I mentioned.
It was a shame that the main Lotto ticket sales couldn't exceed £100m, which two draws 20 years ago had managed to do - Camelot reckoned tickets were being sold at the rate of 400 a second leading up to the closing time of 7.30pm GMT. I'm not sure that this level of ticket sales is "unprecedented" like Camelot claimed because surely those 1996 draws were just as manic with their £100m+ sales, especially since a ticket cost £1 back then, so there were potentially a lot more separate ticket transactions 20 years ago.
Earlier in the rollover run, we also broke the 3-year-old record for the most number of consecutive rollovers (5 in a row last month) and the almost 16-year-old record for the largest Wednesday jackpot prize pool (£35.4m, a few days before Christmas)...and not a peep from the UK media again.
Interestingly, this lack of media frenzy until today has actually meant ticket sales have plateaued during this rollover run (but since Camelot doesn't officially release sales figures nowadays, it's hardly surprising the journos missed this). It's likely the media attention spurred on the 200 tickets a second sales that Camelot reported today, but even very large sales of £44.2m for tonight's draw still only made it the 6th highest ticket sales for a Wednesday draw (but at least they were the highest Wednesday sales for 12 years).
When the 59-ball main Lotto draws started last October, I'm pretty sure Camelot hadn't announced what the highly annoying jackpot prize pool cap would be. However, since then, they seem to have sneaked the cap figure on to their Lotto Changes page. Slightly confusingly, it turns out that although the cap is £50m, the "rolldown draw" (where the highest tier with winners splits the jackpot, even if it isn't a 6-match tier) is the one after a £50m+ jackpot isn't won. This does indeed mean that next Saturday's main Lotto draw jackpot "will be won", even possibly by a large number of 5-match winners if there's no 6-match or 5+bonus winners!
Despite the woeful performance of the Camelot official site (it briefly failed at 6.00pm tonght, parts of the site were only intermittently available after that and they delayed - again! - the full results, leaving up a minimal results page up for a couple of hours), I did actually manage to sneak in at 10.53pm and buy an additional ticket online for next Saturday's 15-times rollover after a couple of "go away, we're too busy!" login failures. I don't know why Camelot haven't beefed up their infrastructure now that multiple rollovers are common thanks to the extra 10 balls.
Previous month: December 2015