What's New On These Pages: February 1998
Next month: March 1998
- Saturday 28th February
The live TV show commentary was fine this evening, but I got really annoyed
when Terry Wogan claimed that the TV show had "exclusive" news that there'd
been 1,000 jackpot winners of the lottery so far. I started putting that on
my site on the 18th February (991 winners at that point, so I said "9 to go"),
updated it on 21st February (998 winners, "2 to go") and confirmed it on
Wednesday 25th February (1002 winners). So the TV show's news isn't even
remotely exclusive ! Fired off an e-mail to Alan Dedicoat ("the voice of
the balls") to complain about this.
Was baited a bit in the lottery chat room - a couple of people seemed to
be obsessed with anoraks :-)
Beat everyone else to updating the full results, despite being on hold for
5 minutes and getting a new guy ("Jeremy") on the phone line.
- Wednesday 25th February
The live TV show commentary and draw update went fine tonight.
BBC teletext updated the full results at about same time as me, but
we both beat ITV teletext.
Received the usual weekly fax from Camelot and duly entered the sales figures.
Picked up a TV Dreams scratchcard Game Information Leaflet and
transcribed it onto this site (including some additional comments
from me as usual). I will start work on the Ticket Checker soon to
include TV Home Play winning numbers as an option for checking.
- Tuesday 24th February
Updated a fair number of pages in the Background Information section.
- Saturday 21st February
The live TV show commentary and draw update went OK tonight, though
quite why they put Madonna on after the draw is beyond
me. Her first live UK TV appearance in 15 years and the BBC shove
her on after the 7th ball came out and a load of people have switched
ITV teletext seem to be a bit faster now and I think they tied with
me again for the full results (I had trouble getting through to Camelot -
the line was busy), though I still beat BBC teletext to the full
- Wednesday 18th February
I had the usual problem of trying to commentate on a live soccer match
(Middlesbrough 2 Liverpool 0 was the final score) via the Mighty Reds
chat room and commentary system, whilst also commentating on the lottery
TV show and draw on this site. The solution was to keep things brief when
things overlapped (luckily, the lottery show and draw was mostly at
Hence, I had comments every 2 mins or so in the lottery chat room, but still did
the draw live in the lottery chat room and on the Web pages. Once the stats
had been generated, I went back to the second-half of the soccer match.
Towards the end of that match,
I tried phoning Camelot and kept getting
engaged tone or an "all our lines are busy" message, which wasn't very
I finally managed to get through and get the full results up
with about 5 minutes to go to the end of the match (9.55pm).
I couldn't check teletext
to see if I was quicker and maybe someone else on the Net beat me to the
full results (unlikely), so I didn't make that claim on the home page like
I normally do. A reasonable job in the circumstances, though I did have
to reboot the Web server completely in the second half because of a memory
- Tuesday 17th February
Received the latest sales figures fax from Camelot and
duly updated the Web pages.
- Monday 16th February
Changed the e-mail address on the Web pages to use a more official alias:
firstname.lastname@example.org (which had been set up ages ago, but I
never got around to updating the pages to use it !).
- Sunday 15th February
Did the usual gcc build, linting, weblinting, spell-checking
and link checking on the pages.
- Saturday 14th February
I highlighted that the number 14 might come out on the
first ever St. Valentine's Day draw and was proved correct
(if only I could guess two other correct numbers as well...).
The live TV commentary and draw went OK in the chat room,
but I discovered that Camelot changed their phone line today
(you put **14 on the end of the main number instead of **4 - this
is to accommodate option **2 on the line for the forthcoming
TV Dreams scratchcard and TV show). I was kept on hold
for ages, plus Camelot released the results late (about 45 minutes
after the draw), so I tied with ITV teletext again (but beat
- Friday 13th February
We physically moved this Web server from one building to another this
evening. Announcing downtime of only one hour proved to be
somewhat optimistic -
it took us 2 hours to get the system working correctly again.
- Thursday 12th February
Bought a couple more tickets for next Saturday's rollover.
- Wednesday 11th February
The live TV show commentary and update went OK and, predictably, almost
everyone left the chat room as soon as the draw took place, even though
the TV show pointlessly dragged on for several minutes after that.
Camelot took an age to get the full results through (about 45 minutes
after the draw), so I had them up about the same time as ITV teletext
(but still ahead of BBC teletext).
Received the latest sales figures fax from Camelot and duly updated the
- Saturday 7th February
The live TV show commentary and draw update went fine and I was the first
to put up the full results as usual. ITV teletext page 123 followed with the
full figures at around 9pm, but BBC teletext page 556 wasn't displaying
them by 9.20pm - 40 minutes after I'd updated my pages with the full results.
- Thursday 5th February
Spotted a double page spread in The Daily Mail on the 500th millionaire
celebrations that Camelot had this week (it was mentioned on the UK lottery TV
show). Found an error in that newspaper article (one of the jackpot amounts was
wrong) - the usual sloppy journalism strikes again !
- Wednesday 4th February
The live TV show commentary and draw update were fine and I got the
full results up around 9.30pm, well ahead of BBC and ITV
The latest sales figures came through via fax from Camelot, so I duly
updated the Web pages.
- Tuesday 3rd February
Received my subscription certificate (fourth subscription period) through
the post this morning - that's me covered until 20th February 1999...
- Monday 2nd February
All hell breaks loose as Richard Branson wins his two-way libel case against
Guy Snowden ! This has to put the future of GTech in the Camelot consortium
Previous month: January 1998