- Wednesday 30th June
Had a couple of "lovebirds" in the chat room tonight (who seem
to have drifted from one of our other chat rooms), but they behaved
themselves. The chat room was unusually busy tonight and the TV
commentary and draw went fine. I was the first to put the full
results up as usual.
- Saturday 26th June
As usual, the chat room on a Saturday was slow to warm up,
with the usual suspects turning up some 15-20 minutes before the
Thunderball draw. Alan Dedicoat made a pointed remark about some
people wanting to know which machine and ball set was used (i.e. me :-) )
prior to the main lottery draw, although we still don't get
told which machine and ball sets are used in the Thunderball draw.
I put up the full (freaky !) results up before anyone else.
Launched a Thunderball Prizes Winners page, which was fairly straightforward
except for the niggly comma-separated values page (always takes me ages to
do that one !). Restored the number palace, winning numbers and appearances
links in the frequency table in the individual Thunderball lottery pages.
Tinkered around with some of the Thunderball draw night mechanisms, including
the infamous "Manual comments will be available here shortly" message that
will now appear on the Thunderball individual page shortly after the draw
in a similar manner to the UK lottery individual page.
- Wednesday 23rd June
The chat room was reasonably busy tonight (although one early
user kept telling me to shut up :-) ) and the live TV draw and
commentary went fine. I put the full results up before anyone else.
Received the latest sales figures fax from Camelot and duly updated
- Sunday 20th June
Looked at the "twilight zone" problem that cropped up yesterday and
couldn't see anything wrong with the code. I suspect that I didn't
put the correct figures in the data file to trigger off the twilight
zone code properly. Added more links to the Thunderball home page
and also corrected various Thunderball navigation icons/links at
the bottom of some Thunderball pages.
Added the Thunderball versions of the Have You Won ? and Number Palace
pages. I'll need to do the Thunderball Prize Winners page by next
Saturday because it's a pain manually comparing prize tiers between
multiple draws. I'll also need to merge Thunderball ticket sales into
the Sales Figures page of course.
- Saturday 19th June
It's interesting that the chat room remains fairly quiet for the first
15 minutes of the (35 mins !) TV show - people have sussed that the
Winning Lines segment of the show is utter tosh. The two draws went
fine, but I had problems generating the Thunderball pages during what
I term the "twilight zone" (i.e. the period between the draw and
getting the full results through).
It didn't help that Camelot (who were very shirty with me on the phone
line tonight) took an hour to release the full results, so
my buggy Thunderball generated pages hung around for an uncomfortably
long time. I can see most of my Sunday being spent testing out twilight
zone conditions (which I foolishly hadn't bothered doing checking out).
Once the full Thunderball results came through, the pages were
re-generated to cover the cracks :-) I definitely beat BBC teletext to
the full results of both draws, but I was too busy to see if I beat
ITV teletext to both as well (I did beat them to the Thunderball full
Launched a new Thunderball Numerical Analysis section, though I dropped the
Thunderball machine/ball set page (that info isn't made public) and the
Thunderball most common winning number pairs/triples pages (didn't think
it was appropriate to do this, plus the coding was hairy for it !).
Trickiest page to port over to the Thunderball was, as you might expect,
the Best Performing Tickets page (in fact, I found a bug in the Top 10
chart on that page - "wrong" entries could creep in sometimes - it's been
fixed now). It also uncovered a minor alignment problem in the Thunderball
ticket checker, which I duly corrected.
- Friday 18th June
Got confirmation of the correction of the ball set number for UK lottery #135 -
it's 5, not 3 (my auto-comparing scripts found a discrepancy between my site
and the official one...I've had Camelot chasing this up for a week or so).
It looks like the ball set was recently retro-corrected, which is why I only
just picked it up.
- Wednesday 16th June
It was almost like a ghost town in the chat room tonight - only a
few stragglers turned up. Looks like the "glamour" of the Saturday
show (two draws and the Winning Lines rip-off of
Talking Telephone Numbers) has meant people have forgotten
about the Wednesday one :-) No problems with the live TV show
commentary or draw and I was the first to put up the full results.
- Monday 14th June
Received the latest sales figures fax from Camelot (albeit with no Thunderball
info on it :-( ) and duly updated the pages.
- Saturday 12th June
It was surprisingly quiet (considering it was a rollover draw and the
first Thunderball draw) in the chat room tonight until about 10 minutes
before the draw. I used the UK lottery Java balls in the chat room to
do the Thunderball numbers (not really appropriate - need to separate
out the mechanism) and then did the UK draw shortly after.
I don't have any Thunderball Live Updates code for the Web pages, so I
just slapped the Thunderball numbers into the Newsflash until I
re-generated the pages following the main UK lottery draw.
I was the first to update the full main UK lottery and Thunderball
results, which included the embarrassment of no Thunderball jackpot
winners ! I bet Camelot wish they'd have allowed Thunderball rollovers
now to save their red faces...
To reflect the low priority I'm giving to Thunderball, I've only given it
"mini-balls" on the home page - you have to select the Thunderball link
to get the larger balls. The Thunderball tree now has a main lottery-style
home page (albeit with a lot less links) - previous manual Thunderball docs are
now in a new Thunderball Background Info section.
- Friday 11th June
Bought two more tickets for tomorrow's main UK lottery rollover draw
(and none for the awful Thunderball of course).
- Wednesday 9th June
The room was moderately busy during the TV show commentary and draw,
which went OK. I put the full results up faster than anyone else as
usual and I can't say I wasn't unhappy that Saturday's main UK lottery
draw is now a "spoiler" rollover draw that will hit the debut Thunderball
draw's sales :-) Camelot were a little reticient about the jackpot amount
rolled over, but I calculated it from the prize formulae and phoned them
later on to confirm it.
- Monday 7th June
Finished coding the individual Thunderball lottery pages, though many of
the main lottery links (to ticket sales/prizes CGIs) on those pages
have been removed until they've been coded for the Thunderball. Completed
Thunderball graphics for displaying on individual lottery
pages and inside the Thunderball Ticket Checker, which meant I could launch
them today (along with Thunderball Lucky Dip).
Added an Thunderball All Winning Numbers page to allow people to get a
full list of them. I've got a couple of weeks to work on the Numerical Analysis
and other pages of course, because they don't become important until
the second draw :-) Added a transcription of the back of the new Thunderball
- Saturday 5th June
The chat room was fairly quiet until only a few minutes
before the draw, which went fine. My ISDN connection started
to misbehave shortly after the draw (pauses of 2-3 minutes !)
and when I disconnected, I couldn't get back on for 15
minutes [which was frustrating because I had the full
results ready to update the pages !]. I didn't bother checking
ITV and BBC teletext on the assumption that one of them
probably beat me to it.
Completed work on the Thunderball Ticket Checker and Lucky
Dip generator (picking up the odd minor bug here and there
that was in the original main lottery code).
The only visible addition to the outside world today was a
new "Reset form" button on the "Have You Won ?" page and also
on the form where you click to enter numbers inside the
Ticket Checker. The Thunderball Ticket Checker will be
launched on Monday (a world exclusive !), along with
individual Thunderball lottery pages, which I'm half way
through coding at the moment.
- Thursday 3rd June
Fixed an obscure bug about not zero-terminating a string when
converting a hex code (prefixed by a percent character)
into a single character in a URL. The bug only just surfaced
after some 3 years. It mainly cropped up as a bad translation
of %40 (should be the "@" character), which caused virtual
lottery entries to be rejected (the e-mail address of the
entrant has to contain an "@").
- Wednesday 2nd June
The chat room was only moderately busy tonight (in fact,
as many people came in after the draw as did during the
draw :-) ) and the live commentary and draw went fine,
even if Shauna Lowry appeared to be a last-minute
replacement presenter for Carol Smillie.
I was the first to put up the full results, despite
confusion when I noticed down the prize pool and
ticket sales (I mis-typed them in and it took me about
10 minutes to work that out).
Camelot have confirmed that they will have prize amounts/winners
and ticket sales info on their phone line for the Thunderball
draw when that starts next week.