What's New On These Pages: April 2000
Next month: May 2000
- Saturday 29th April
The lottery chat room was relatively quiet tonight, so I
had a go at the Winning Lines questions on the lottery show
and won the first round easily (how slow are those
contestants ?!). The live draw went fine and I was the first to
put up the full results.
- Wednesday 26th April
It was relatively quiet in the chat room tonight as I "boycotted"
the Wednesday show again thanks to Sky One showing the far more
interesting Earth: Final Conflict at the same time as the
BBC 1 lottery show (which should never ever be one hour long).
Instead of flipping over to BBC 1 for the live draw, I used Radio 5
Live instead, which worked OK-ish (not great thanks to their
crazy decision only to broadcast on medium wave). The live draw
went fine and I put the full results up before anyone else.
- Saturday 22nd April
Rather conveniently, Dilbert finishes just as Winning Lines starts,
so I didn't miss anything of the lottery show tonight other than
the opening titles. I matched 5 of the 6 Winning Lines numbers tonight -
one more and I could have phoned up to be on the TV show ! The usual
motley crew in the chat room had a go at the quiz questions during
the show - I beat the contestants to almost all the answers :-)
The live draws went ahead fine and I was the first to announce the
- Wednesday 19th April
With Earth: Final Conflict now running on Sky One and directly clashing
with the lottery show, I can't see the latter because I'm recording the
former on my Sky Digital digibox. I tuned into Radio 5 Live (rather than
flick over the digibox during the ad breaks) to avoid the 0.7 second
Digibox delay and did the live draw from radio (no different from tuning
to BBC 1 because I rarely look at the TV screen when commentating).
The chat room was moderately busy and I put up the full results before
Fixed bugs in the footer of the lottery link pages (year was wrongly set to
zero and it was using Thunderball navigation balls instead of Home ones).
- Saturday 15th April
I logged in this morning only to find out that I couldn't
access the intranet workstations (from my home connection),
so a lot of jury-rigging had to go on behind the scenes
to sort out the best way to update the lottery pages.
I eventually settled on generating the pages on my home machine
and then uploading the Web pages that had been updated to the
live server directly (disabling any test to live server
mirroring, which wasn't working anyway of course). I still
did the live commentary and draw in the chat room and the
page upload worked, albeit with an initial mistake on my part
of a £1m jackpot instead of a £10m one :-)
I did some further offline updates and discovered during that
time that I'd won £10 on my fourth ticket - some compensation,
I guess, for the intranet problems. I didn't have any time to
check if I'd beaten teletext to the full results, plus the
Best Performing Tickets page will be generating well into the
night on my home machine (will be many hours doing it...),
but, apart from that, everything else is hunky dory.
- Friday 14th April
Received a new record-setting 165-ticket £10 guaranteed win wheel
from Salvatore Minacapelli in Milan, Italy.
- Wednesday 12th April
For some completely unknown reason, Sky One has moved
Earth: Final Conflict from Sunday to Wednesday, making
it clash directly with the lottery show. A combination of
a 0.5 seconds Sky Digital delay (leading to some jesters
typing in the drawn numbers before I do in the chat room !),
the aforementioned clash, my protestations at the outrageous
60 minute long Dale Winton-fronted
lottery show and the availability of the draw both on Radio 5 Live
(though they got fooled by the BBC 1 show's infuriating "and now
it's time for the draw...oh, but we'll have 3 minutes of an interview
with a past jackpot winner now" and had to abandon the simulcast !)
and when I briefly switch over from Sky One at 8.56pm [inbetween
Earth: Final Conflict and the new Good vs. Evil show] meant that
I skipped the first 55 minutes of the TV show commentary, even
though I was in the chat room throughout.
As for the live draw itself, that wasn't a problem, although I
was annoyed by how long it took Camelot to issue the full results
(about 50 minutes). I still beat the rest of the usual suspects
to doing the full results update though...
- Tuesday 11th April
Bought two more tickets for tomorrow's Super Draw, plus a further
two for Saturday's Super Draw. Interesting to note that I tried to
give them a playslip with "WED" and "SAT" boxes marked (but not the "BOTH" box)
and the lottery terminal rejected it outright, which is utterly pants.
I had to fill a second playslip all over again and mark the "BOTH" box only
to get it through - quite why they've got the "BOTH" box anyway, is beyond
- Saturday 8th April
As usual, I joined the lottery show over 5 minutes after
it started, partly in protest of the 105 minutes of lottery
shows we have to endure each week, but mainly because Sky
One were showing Dilbert :-) The live TV show commentary
and 2 draws went fine, with my usual pre-draw advertising
in the Liverpool FC chat room persuading some extra people
to come in to make a busy room.
As is their wont, some of the people in the room tried to
beat me to typing the numbers as they came out and they
managed to because of the 3/4 second delay you get with
Sky Digital's BBC 1 ! Anyway, I put up the full results
before anyone else.
- Friday 7th April
Bought another two tickets for tomorrow's rollover Super Draw.
- Wednesday 5th April
With the new Dale Winton-fronted lottery lasting an
excrutiating hour (yes, you read that right - a Wednesday lottery
show that's 60 minutes long) and Chelsea vs. Barcelona
soccer live on rival channel ITV, the lottery show probably
got absolutely massacred in the ratings.
As it was, a reasonable group of stragglers popped into the
room (thanks to my usual pre-draw promotion in the Liverpool FC
chat room a few minutes before...) and the commentary and
live draw went OK. I beat ITV and BBC teletext by quite a
substantial margin (over 10 minutes) tonight, which was
- Saturday 1st April
Tonight was a rollover draw, but it may as well have been
a roll-over-and-lose draw as far as I was concerned :-)
Still, the live TV show commentary and draw went ahead
OK and I was the first to put up the full results, so I
guess that's compensation for another £4 down the
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