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The Software Solution to the National Lottery's 12 Weeks of Christmas Game

About The National Lottery

The National Lottery has been an integral part of Irish life since it first launched over 30 years ago in 1987. One reason for the National Lottery’s longevity and success has been its willingness to adapt to change and to focus on innovation. This is demonstrated in the way the National Lottery has developed its online play offering, including the development of online services such as the National Lottery App. The National Lottery, along with its marketing partners, are leaders when it comes to innovation and creative marketing. In 2015, they sought Viatel Technology Group's technical expertise to help turn one innovative idea, “Crackthecode” into a reality. This game required a robust and highly secure back-end system, which Viatel successfully delivered.

Damien Lee, Rebecca Hayes & Arnie Dayapera from Viatel Technology Group's Software Team.

The Business Challenge

Following the success of the ‘Crackthecode’ game, the National Lottery approached Viatel to assist in developing software for an online Christmas-themed draw, the National Lottery’s ‘12 Weeks of Christmas’. For this game, users had to enter a 13-digit code found on a range of Scratch Cards into a second chance draw. This code was entered online into a weekly draw for a chance to win one of five €1,000 cash prizes. Each code gave multiple entries into the same draw, depending on the Scratch Card.

Along with entering the 13-digit code, users were also required to provide personal details and optional opt-in for marketing communications.

This game ran for 12 weeks with draws each week in the lead-up to Christmas. At peak season, the National Lottery expected high volumes of traffic and couldn’t afford any downtime.

There were several challenges:

Outstanding User Experience

The National Lottery is immensely popular with a wide-ranging demographic. The application needed to be responsive, stable, and accessible to non-digital savvy users.

Airtight Security and Data Collection

Much of the success of this marketing project was dependent on gathering large quantities of personal information. Added to that, each week an independent facilitator required entry to the back-end to carry out the prize draw. Both factors meant that security had to be airtight.

Highly Scalable Application

The application needed scalability and the ability to withstand high levels of traffic. As the draws were to take place at the end of the week, spikes in traffic caused by last-minute entries had to be considered.

The Solution

The National Lottery’s 12 Weeks of Christmas game was created to provide a fun new way for users to experience Scratch Card games, in doing so introducing the retailer player to the online world and allowing for further online communications. As such, CRM integration was extremely important. The Viatel team created a link from the 12 Weeks of Christmas online game to the National Lottery back-end CRM system. This allowed the National Lottery team to leverage their CRM system for the purpose of recording and storing the details of the draw participants.

In addition, provided that the customer opted in, participant details such as name, address, email, etc. were also made available to the National Lottery for marketing purposes.

"Viatel Technology Group were experts in developing a reliable solution that catered for high volumes of entries into the Second Chance Draw. As a team, they are always proactive in problem solving and recommending a best-in-class approach for our development process."

Eric Sexton

Senior Product Manager National Lottery

The Result

Damien Lee, Director of Software Services, Viatel Technology Group.

The software required for National Lottery’s 12 weeks of Christmas online game was developed on time and on budget, with exceptional results.

  1. 100% Data Capture – Over the course of the campaign there were over 250,000 entries successfully executed, with a 100% data capture success rate.

  2. Zero Downtime – Spanning the entire length of the project there was zero downtime. The spikes in traffic anticipated from last-minute entries were handled by the Vatel system without incident.

  3. Perfect Execution of High Profile Draws – Each week, an independent facilitator was granted administrative access to carry out the prize draws. These high-profile draws were successfully executed with full audibility.

  4. Microsoft Azure Scalability – Using the power of Microsoft Azure, Viatel was able to deliver a highly flexible and scalable system, one that could scale up to as required, 20,000 daily users.

Since the relationship's inception in 2015, the Viatel software team is proud to have continued to work with the National Lottery team to deliver the '12 Weeks of Christmas' game annually.

Connect with Viatel

Viatel Technology Group is Ireland’s leading independent comms and digital services group. Viatel provides best-in-class software solutions, business comms, connectivity, voice, cloud, and digital transformation services to over 4,000 enterprises nationwide. To explore your organisation’s connectivity or other services, please contact our team on 1800 930 860 or email


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