July 23, 2005 The Live8 concerts of July 2 will forever mark the beginning of interdependence consciousness and hopefully we will develop a more civilized world based on what was crystalised by the event. More than a million people attended concerts across four continents to demand that the Group of Eight (G8) wealthy nations cancel the debts of poor African countries and boost aid at a summit in Scotland. Many records were set as people across the globe joined in a way we haven’t seen before but one which we feel compelled to acknowledge from a sheer technological viewpoint was that of the London-based Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) which set a new world record and a benchmark for efficiency by enabling the biggest ever text lottery of its kind in history. The lottery received 2,060,285 responses and has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records. At the peak time during the Live 8 lottery, MIG was receiving 611 SMS messages per second through its gateway.
The text line opened at 8.00pm on June 6th and ran until midnight on 12th June – a total of six days and four hours, during which 2,060,285 responses were received. The lottery took the form of entrants answering a question concerning which city the G8 meeting would be held in. Each text sent cost £1.50 (US$2.60) and all the money was donated to Live 8.
The lottery received 2,060,285 responses and has been officially recognised by Guinness World Records.
Only 145,000 tickets were available and the winners received a text message with a unique eight digit PIN number and a website address. After logging on to the website, entrants were prompted to enter their PIN and mobile phone number and then were given the option of having the tickets posted or made available for collection from one of 35 participating O2 shops – mobile operator O2 was a Live 8 sponsor.
At the peak time during the Live 8 lottery, MIG was receiving 611 SMS messages per second through its gateway.
Given the success and flawless operation of the Live 8 lottery, no doubt we’ll see more big event promoters and broadcasters using the SMS platform to offer special competitions and promotions designed to enhance brands and produce significant revenues.
Interestingly, MIG’s customer service centre received “hardly any calls and the ones it did receive were from people using SMS services for the first time.”