Monday, March 04, 2019

Sometimes lottery automation can get the better of you!

As part of writing a decent lottery application, a primary concern is to ensure that our customer's lottery tickets are purchased in time for a given draw. If we are unable to do so, the customer must be refunded immediately. This we believe is how a transparent business should be run.

In the past, we were unable to do this in a short space of time due to human intervention. In addition, it was pretty tricky to error check our agent purchases. While we made an effort via OCR and random manual checks the human factor was much like a Ghost in the machine especially when dealing with high volumes of sales.

With our new lottery system, things are a bit different since we are plugged directly into a global lottery procurement/risk agent who is systematically signing deals with official lottery agencies in order to procure our customer's tickets. This means we no longer have to rely on traditionally styled agents and the accompanying human error that goes with it.

It also means we can write smarter systems, systems that can inform you that we were unable to procure your tickets prior to a draw taking place.

So our system has been written to deal with such an eventuality and over the weekend we learned firsthand that automation can get the better of you! While most of our orders were processed as expected, we did not factor in timing complexities which caused a small handful of tickets to be rejected before they were actually sent to our agent.

In cases like this, we contact each affected customer to inform them of the exact issue at hand and provide them with a promotion as an apology.

While we do our best to avoid technical issues, we believe they are part of the process to writing better software.

- development team

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