Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Olympic lottery

The London Olympics 2012 ticket ballot closed last week and I wanted to write up my approach to and experience of the ballot so far.

When it was announced that the Olympics were coming to London, I was surprised by how excited I felt. After a little thought, I decided that my approach would be to treat the Olympics as my two week holiday for 2012, and that I would spend the same amount on tickets as I would on a holiday abroad. May didn't agree with my thinking to start with, but I gradually won her over and we came up with a mutually agreeable budget.

In our typical style, we massively over-planned and spent a good few hours going through the timetable and devising a spreadsheet. Given the baffling approach of having a single ballot for all tickets and the varied pricing structure, we ended up taking a long time to finalise our choices. By the time we were ready, it was about 10:30pm on the final day of ticket application, so we got caught up in TicketMaster's web site capacity FAIL. To be honest, if I'd known it was TicketMaster providing the infrastructure, I'd have been incented to get my application in early; for the last few big events I've booked, their web site has always run out of capacity.

I saw this screen a lot.

The website was broken for about an hour and a half, and at the depths of my despair I even consulted the website's help function:

My question was "Sorry we cannot process your request. WTF? Give me some tickets.

Eventually though, we were able to get our choices in before the deadline. Below you can find the full list of what we've applied for.

I'm secretly hoping we get most of it, as although it will be expensive I think it's going to be an excellent experience. Fingers crossed (and bank account loaded!).

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