When £66million Lotto is at Stake, What’s at Stake?

Push Technology - January 13, 2016

Most of us dream of winning the lottery – we’ll buy homes all over the world, fly on a private jet, buy the car we’ve always wanted. That reality came true for two lucky winners in the UK this weekend sharing a prize of £66million. The biggest National Lottery jackpot since its launch in 1994, the UK was caught up in a frenzy as Britons chased the record jackpot.

Snaps of queues to purchase lotto tickets were shared across social media as National Lottery operator Camelot urged people to buy tickets early to avoid the stampede due to “unprecedented” level of interest. And interested they were – Britons spent £2.8million on 1.4million tickets in stores before sale ended according to the Daily Mail.

But what’s more frustrating than forgetting to play the lottery? How about attempting to buy tickets or check numbers with a site that crashed under a flood of last-minute entries. Unfortunately, in the UK thousands were left furious because of problems with the National Lottery website buckling under the strain.

Dreaming Big

Similar to the UK, the US is now caught up in Powerball frenzy – over a $1.4 Billion jackpot. When sharing a drink with friends over the weekend and discussing what they’d do with the money, every person went big – the jet, the car, the homes, the private islands. All this dreaming big got me thinking about the Camelot website, many others and countless apps. When developing an app, do these people dream big? Do they dream for success? Do they dream that they’ll one day handle 400 tickets every second in an hour in the way Camelot did on Saturday night?

The reality is that most don’t plan for this level of scale and fail to invest upfront to prevent problems that arise when you suddenly go big – whether it’s event-driven like the lottery or because you’ve gone viral. Common causes? Success is uncertain, it’s complicated, time consuming and some question whether it’s money down the drain.

Planning to Fail or Scale?

The problem with not planning for scale is that you are really planning to fail. Because when your app goes large, you won’t. Fortunately for Camelot, with a contract in place to run the UK National Lottery until 2023, they are in safe place. Most web and mobile apps don’t have that luxury.

There is too much at stake to not plan for scale. Push Technology CTO Dr. Andy Piper advises companies to follow a lean start-up model to build what is needed, not for a minimum viable product but for a minimum successful product. He suggests leveraging off-the-shelf frameworks, platforms and tools which offer low up-front costs and proven solutions. After all, why gamble on your web or mobile app?

Don’t Cut Corners when Scale Matters

When we work with app developers, information architects and CTOs, our advice is to limit the number of integration points. Data is highly distributed, people are everywhere on many devices. The ability to cope with this demand requires the ability to collect information from many sources, process it and deliver an outcome. Attempting to combine and abstract these sources of data is only the start. Information architects need to introduce new concepts for managing data in motion and data streaming. That calls for the requirement to decouple front end apps from back end systems. Since the direct coupling between user actions and backend operations has been broken, this allows backend services to be managed, updated or even replaced without affecting the functionality or responsiveness of the client apps. In most cases, the same backend logic is supporting both Web Apps and API access – each with very different traffic profiles and consequently availability expectations.

It’s not just our advice either – Gartner agrees. If you need your web or mobile app to work regardless of how many millions of people hit your systems, you need to talk to Push Technology. We can help you dream big and plan to scale.


The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform makes it easy to consume, enrich and deliver event-data in real-time across all network conditions. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to bring innovative products to market faster by reducing the software development efforts using the low-code features. The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform is available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.

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