Normally, the “Lotto Jackpot Fail” we experience is … buying a ticket, and then finding out that we have the wrong numbers on it. And this Wednesday it would have been especially painful, as the jackpot in the National Lottery is a cool 10,000,000 Euros (about the same as the overall value of all Greek government bonds). Only … Telefónica screwed that one up. As the new owners of the lottery franchise were very quick to point out.
So, no Wednesday jackpot winner … what happened?
The website lottery.ie (screenshot attached) makes it quite clear:
The National Lottery can confirm that there were technical problems this morning following a service outage related to the 3G telecommunications infrastructure provided by Telefónica. This incident affected business customers across Ireland and Europe including over 3,500 National Lottery agents. We are continuing work to re-establish the connection between the agent terminals and the network.
Looks a bit like the blame game, doesn’t it? But, in all fairness, I can fully understand why Ireland’s National Lottery is so brusquely open about what went wrong. And pointing the accusing finger at Telefónica, instead of issuing the usual, grovelling, but in effect non-substantial apology (“Something beyond our control went gaga, duh!”).
Because ownership of the lottery franchise recently changed, people might be inclined to sing the favourite Irish tune: “Everything was better in the old days!” And leaving the blame with “de new outfit, feckers all”.
Now the new outfit was blameless. It was their infrastructure provider that fecked it up. So Premier Lotteries Ireland, a consortium of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, An Post, and An Post Pension Funds, decided to be proactive. In effect telling the customer that, look, it’s totally not our fault, the other feckers did it.
Which I like.
All too often such f-ups end in corporate speak, smoke and mirrors. Here we have a big corporation telling it like it is. Of course, they are covering their own backside, but still … it is unusual enough that the blame for a major boo-boo gets laid fair and square at the door of the actual boo-boo-er. And I bet that Telefónica (who just sold off O2, which is currently being swallowed hook, line, and sinker by Three) won’t like this at all.
Anyway … what’ll happen to the millions now? The draw was postponed, it’ll take place tonight. Which, I guess, will mean more people playing. So the National Lottery might actually win a little jackpot of their own.
But, having said that, the dealer always wins. No need to employ Telefónica for this …