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UK National Lottery Automatic Results Update

I now have a home ISDN Internet connection so I can use the Live Updates system directly now. However, if anything goes wrong, I still have backup timed jobs to frequently check the following five external UK lottery WWW pages until they are updated with the latest results (all carry at least the 7 winning numbers):

Saturday cron jobs to handle this are run every 5 minutes between 8.05pm and 8.55pm GMT (Saturdays) or 9.05pm and 9.50pm GMT (Wednesdays) and every 15 minutes between 9.00pm and 11.45pm GMT. Sunday cron jobs for the task are run once an hour (at one minute past the hour). Note that as soon as the WWW check finds a fully updated page, it no longer requests it again, so I won't be thrashing those sites all evening ! At least 2 of the sites above must agree on the winning numbers or jackpot prize pool (these are treated independently), which avoids using incorrect information. Credit (including a link) is given to the WWW site(s) that provided the information, with the above order of sites determining who gets the single credit between 2 or more sites. The typical execution time of a job to generate a set of new Web pages and GIFs is about 30 seconds.

If the auto-update hasn't worked by Wednesday or Saturday 10.00pm, an automatic note is issued to this effect on the home page and the appropriate individual lottery page that should have been updated. Hence, I know when things go wrong and don't want any e-mail complaining that there's been no auto-update !

Further cron jobs are run at the following (GMT) times to housekeep the lottery pages:

    Thu 11.00pm   Move expiry boundary up one draw
    Sat 12.00am   Announcement of draw day
    Sat  7.30pm   Announcement of ticket sales closing
                  Zero live updates entry log
    Sat  8.04pm   Announcement of draw completion
    Sat 10.00pm   Announcement of failure if no update by now

[Tu-Fr] 2.00am Regenerate various pages [Daily] 2.03am GIF colours changed and cache purged [Daily] 2.05am Lottery links checked
[Tu-Sa] 9.01am } Regenerate

I suspect that my lottery pages are the only ones in the world that require no operator intervention to update the winning numbers and jackpot amount shortly after the draw !

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