John Rainsford

The results are in

March 24th, 2010

Next time I plan on putting a competition on, it’s going to be a completely random draw. The closing date was a week ago and I’ve been reading emails and tweets and agonising over who to select for days. I finally had to call on help from my significant other to choose two winners for the competition.

The chosen ones

The first winner is Brian Arnold from Albuquerque, his entry could be summed up as “Family sickness and poor corporate policies kept him away from the past two SXSWs.” We liked his entry, therefore one printer’s proof will be winging it’s way to Brian next week.

The second winner was Christopher from America. He can’t go because he’s having a baby in six months, but we’re all not supposed to know for another little while (hence the lack of a surname and the slight ambiguity of where he’s from). We like positive stuff and keeping secrets, Chris is our second winner.

Caught my eye (ouch)

I received a large number of reasons for not going to SXSW, but two caught my eye as they made me laugh (LOL, ZOMG). The first from Mike Montgomery who ended his entry with

“I would be shunned by the masses but I would end up with a cool nickname like Typhoid Mike.

That line deserves a spot prize alone, so a runners-up prize will be going to Typhoid Mike.

The second was from Maykel Loomans who said he couldn’t go to SXSW because he’s

“scared of Vampire Robot Ninja Pirates who are also Zombies, and the French.”

Maykel is from the Netherlands so I suppose he should be scared of the French.

Hey, what can I say? I’m easily amused.

OMG, That is like, sooooo random

So onto the random picking of a third poster. As we received few entries from people who were actually going, I put everyone into the draw for the third poster (except for the two winners above) as it was stated that you could enter both competitions.

So, in the interests of transparency (opacity: .2;) I decided to share with everyone, my method for randomly picking a winner.

I have often wondered how other people pick random winners and I often ponder whether it’s really random or not. The only way to be sure was to use the some complicated code to produce a random winner. So I compiled the list of entries into a PHP array and I used the following code to give me a random winner:

Secret PHP Formula for selecting winners (TM)

Magic, eh? The resulting winner was Mark van den Corput (definitely randomly drawn, as Mark is our second winner from the Netherlands!) Congratulations, you win the third printer’s proof. But wait, there’s more. This random winner generator was just too exciting to leave alone, so I refreshed the browser and hey presto, another winner who goes by the name of Zachary Nicoll. Well done, I will send you a small prize for being chosen by the PHP gods.


After all that excitement, I really need a holiday, but unfortunately we’re very close to launching so I will have to go back to work. Thanks to everyone for entering, you were all great, if I could, I’d give prizes to all entries (but I guess it wouldn’t be much of a competition then.)

Stay tuned to @usewebstandards for more information on the Support Web Standards products. You could also follow me on Twitter for some more PHP masterclasses.

Post by John Rainsford

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I'm a web designer and developer for Pixelcode, based in Athy, Co.Kildare, Ireland.

Aside from creating stuff for the web, I screenprint, post short videos and read books.

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