Next month: February 1998
BBC teletext page 556 put up the number of jackpot winners and a rounded jackpot prize figure up reasonably quickly (within 15-20 minutes of me putting the full results up), but then twiddled their thumbs until 9.25pm, when they finally put the full results up - a full 45 minutes after I had them up !
ITV teletext were even worse, amazingly. Although they had the number of jackpot winners and a rounded jackpot prize figure amount (plus, strangely, an exact 5+bonus prize amount and number of 5+bonus winners - if they can give this info exactly for the 5+bonus tier, why not for the jackpot too ?) in their news headlines section at around the same time as BBC teletext (and well after me of course), they didn't even put that on any of the 6 sub-pages they had on page 123 (which is dedicated to the lottery) - I think they simply "forgot" about the full results once they'd got their precious news headlines article up.
To cap it all off, they still hadn't updated page 123 with the full results by 9.55pm (not even the number of jackpot winners was on that page at that time), which means that these Web pages beat ITV teletext to the full results by over an hour and 15 minutes, which is a new record.
What irritates me about ITV teletext's performance in particular is that they've been bragging for weeks on page 123 about how they have an "in vision live update" on page 127, which is pointless because ITV annoyingly superimpose the winning numbers right on top the middle of whatever show is airing anyway. There is no choice as to whether you can superimpose the winning numbers on your ITV picture or not - they are forced on their regardless as to what ITV teletext do.
So they have a live update - fair enough. But what about the full results then ? To neglect their dedicated lottery page (123) for a substantial period of time after they've received the full results and put only a part of the full results into their news headlines (301) section is nothing short of irresponsible. BBC teletext had the full results up at 9.25pm (and now refuse to put anything about the lottery winning numbers/prizes into their news headlines indexed from page 102, which is quite right) - where were ITV teletext's full results then ? The answer, belatedly, was that they put them up around or shortly after 10pm...
I beat everyone else to the full results again - teletext was its usual lethargic self (BBC and ITV seem to be using the same [slow] source and didn't update until after 10pm, at least 20 minutes after I did !). Received the latest sales figures fax from Camelot (it actually arrived at work yesterday, but I'd taken a day off) and duly updated the Web pages.
The biggest surprise of the night, though, was the lethargy displayed by both BBC and ITV teletext, who usually get the full results somewhere between 0 and 10 minutes after I do. Tonight, they were an hour later than me, which is the slowest they've ever been compared to me to issue the full results ! I was sent the latest full sales figures fax from Camelot today and duly updated the pages.
I mis-typed the number of 4-match winners, but I knew about this because my software flagged it up. I simply didn't have any time to correct it because the Liverpool match went into extra time (and they won 2-0), but I eventually found some breathing space to correct the figure (a simple digit transpose). Should be interesting to see if other sites copy off me for the full results :-)
Also gone "walkies" are Chris Prickett's site on Simplenet (he stopped updating it in October and there's no Web server responding at the old address now) and even http://www.lottery.culture.gov.uk/ hasn't been available for days now either (looks like a Pipex network break rather than the site being pulled) ! Looks like these UK lottery sites are dropping like nine-pins...
Annoyingly, Computing Services Department on campus here have pulled their teletext mail service that they'd been running for about 5 years. This means no automatic results from teletext when I'm not available for a live update and no delivery of teletext pages of lottery news to my mailbox each day either. I can't say I'm at all happy about this (I complained about the service withdrawal before Christmas, but got nowhere with my complaint). Anyway, I've updated my docs appropriately (i.e. removed references to teletext).
Previous month: December 1997