Some of you may be aware that Jonty is writing a lot of articles for this disczine, and that sometimes he can be rather nasty. Therefore, I hope that Jonty does not instantly take offence at this review.
I'm saying all this because Auto-Lot is basically not very good at all! Whilst there must be dozens and dozens of commercial and shareware National Lottery utilities floating around on the PC market, there's only one such commercial utility on the CPC - Auto-Lot.
Unlike the other PC utilities, Auto-Lot relies on generating numbers entirely at random. OK, so it's nigh-well impossible to predict the numbers that will appear in next Saturday's draw, and Lottery statistics just bore me to death! But for something like Auto-Lot, surely a bit more should have been put into the program?
The instruction manual claims that Auto-Lot is "completely idiot-proof." Right - so how was I stuck as to how to use it for quite some time? At the start, you must enter how many numbers (from 1 to 6) you want Auto-Lot to generate for you, assuming you have picked some numbers of your own. Then you have to enter the same number again! This got me, because I thought you were supposed to press Y or N, but that wasn't the case.
Once that's done, another screen will appear, showing your numbers. From here, you can either choose another selection, or run the program again. And that's all it is. Auto-Lot takes up 35K of disc space (most of which contains screens), and costs £5 on 3.5" disc, and £4 on 3" disc. I was able to write a lottery number generator in one line of BASIC, that essentially sets out to do what Auto-Lot does, albeit with no proper presentation.
Jonty claims that someone in his family has won three times so far, using Auto-Lot. I won't go in to all this mathematical, statistical babble, but I think there's no real skill involved in winning the National Lottery. To be fair, it is a reasonable effort when you consider that Jonty Jones is no expert programmer, but Auto-Lot isn't really worth the money one has to pay for it.