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9 May 2006
The first draw for the new monday lottery (www.playmonday.com) was held last night. There were 5 jackpots of up to £200,000 which could be won by a single winner or different players. I first wrote about the lottery at: Competition for the National Lottery (Lotto), Monday The Charities Lottery has been launched.
Whilst they have not mentioned any names of winners (and they would obviously need to get consent first), at least the players chosen charities should be doing well out of it. A big issue for many (don't believe me, search around the Internet), is that prize money from the National Lottery goes to some charities that many wouldn't want to give money to. I've mentioned unpopular charities that the national lottery supports in my earlier report but some others that I've seen in the press / other websites include: breeding fatter guinea pigs as a food source, and research into dredlocks. The Monday Lottery, puts the choice of charity where it belongs, with the person that is playing the game, for the first lottery I chose the British Heart Foundation, but in the forthcoming draw I've split my games across three charities: Debra, NDCS (National Deaf Children Society), and arc (Arthritis Research Campaign).
There is some press comments, particularly in the IT press about the server problems that the company had yesterday. The servers struggled with the number of hits during the day, and as people were still trying to buy tickets for the draw, the draw time was put back until midnight.
This is a bit double edged. Is it good that there was obviously so much demand, or was the company wrong for not ensuring it had enough capacity? Unfortunately there is no accurate way of determing the number of people that are going to access a site, especially when there is a big launch day. To try and cope you try and overestimate, but how far do you try and overestimate? How many thousands of pounds should you invest, and risk wasting if the site doesn't become as popular as you hope. For now I think it sounds like the lottery is becoming a success and hopefully this incident will just increase the amount of publicity, but it's obviously something they need to address urgently. If the new lottery is a big hit then it's going to help some worthwhile charities.