Suggest limiting posts to one per person (apart from OP) in the lotteries section

Hello! I would like to suggest that in the lotteries section, there should be an option for people (who are not the OP) to post only once in a topic. This is because people accidentally forget that they’ve joined a lottery already (not their fault; it happens), and join again, which makes it unfair for those who only join once. As a lottery host, it’s a hassle to manually go through a large number of entries to make sure people haven’t entered twice. I don’t know if this is possible/feasible/practicable (because sometimes discussions happen, and the OP tries to fix misnumberings, or posts the winner in another post, or tries to ask postbot to draw a number, etc), but I think if feasible this could really help.

Thank you for considering my suggestion!


Personally, I look at whether I have visited the topic before… Topics that you’ve not visited before (including lottery threads) appear with a blue dot next to them. So that’s how I know that it’s a lottery that I’ve not looked at. Also, if you’ve posted in the lottery thread, it will take you to the last post that you’ve viewed on that thread if you look at it again. If it’s a lottery thread that you’ve not visited before, it will take you to the top/first post. Hope that helps :grinning:

I’ve hosted a number of lotteries and make clear that it’s only 1 entry per participant in the rules. So far, no one has ever entered twice in my lotteries…


Where is the blue dot? I’ve looked (at foreign language threads, so I’ve definitely not looked at them before) and I can’t see the blue dot.

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To the right of the topic title, looks like this:


The blue dot indicates all “new” topics. If you “dismiss” the new topics without looking at them, the dot will disappear. If you look at the topic just once, it will disappear, too, no matter whether you write something or not.
It looks like this:

Personally, as a host, I’d look at the top of the topic for the “Frequent Posters”. Click on the little image and it will tell you if they have more than one post. You can filter the topic so that you can only see the posts of this member and see whether it was a double entry so that you can mark all but one entry as invalid.


Yep… here’s a mixture of threads that I have not opened and opened:

You can see that the ones I have not opened have a blue dot next to them. The ones that I have opened are greyed out and don’t have the blue dot. This works both on mobiles and desktop computer :slight_smile:

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That’s a good tip - thanks!

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Alas, I think that only works for members who haven’t hidden their profile.

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Yep, I do the same too, but I think not everyone does it?

Same here, but it did happen that someone joined my lottery twice, but I think it was an honest mistake. Also, I check every time anyway because there’s always a possibility of it happening, and that ends up taking a lot of time.

But, Feuerstuhl’s suggestion is a good one. It removes a bulk of the manual labour. :slight_smile:


I just had a look around and the number of posts is shown every time a member has at least three posts in a topic, no matter whether their profile is hidden. They will also be sorted by descending number. So you can look at the first posters and when the first shows up who hasn’t hidden their profile and it doesn’t say how many posts they have in the topic, it means they have only one. And you don’t have to look at the rest anymore because the rest will also only have one post.

So even if they hide their profile, you have an indication if they replied more than once. And in that case, even if you cannot filter their posts like you can the unhidden profiles, you can still search for their username with the normal search within the topic.

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In this topic, NatM and I are the top posters with three posts each. If there are at least three, it is indicated by the little number.

NatM doesn’t have a hidden profile and we can filter the posts, if we want to.

Scrutiny and I both have our profiles hidden so if you click on our avatars, it won’t tell you much.

Nadjafee doesn’t have her profile hidden. We cannot filter her posts which means that she only has one in this topic.

Since scrutiny is in the order before Nadjafee, it could be that she has two instead of one post. We can search for her username and find out that indeed, scrutiny has made two posts.


As a host of a lottery, first draw the winner. Then research through the topic (ctrl+F) the name of the winner and check if this person posted twice. If yes, change the winner.
No need to reed every post.


Haha, that’s probably the easiest solution! :blush: :+1:

After the next forum update, the frequent posters section will also show if somebody has posted twice. There was a bug and it was reported here.



Is it possible that it does NOT work via Smartphone?
At least it seems so with mine.

It won’t be a problem to switch to Computer / Laptop but not everyone has access to. I know at least some postcrossers who have only a smartphone.

Hmm. Yes. I see.

I am also just thinking in general how annoying (ok that’s too strong a word for this, because it’s not really that important! :joy:) it is that once I’ve joined a lottery, I will automatically be switched to “Tracking” mode, because I’ve posted in the topic once. It’s fine for other topics, but the necessity for this for a lottery topic seems pretty pointless, because a normal user is not likely to be interested in seeing other people’s entries. For me, I leave the “Tracking” on because that’s a reminder for me that I have already entered that lottery, so I shouldn’t do it again. But this just means that the lotteries I’ve joined end up being listed in my “Unread” list, and it’s until the lottery is closed, those topics will clutter up my Unread list.

The other alternative for this is after joining a lottery, I manually switch the notifications option for that topic back to “Normal”, and then every time I join what I think is a new lottery for me, that I have to pay attention to whether or not I’ve joined before (which is actually easy, because of the “last visited” red line that pops up), but it is sometimes (possibly) easy for certain people who are mass joining lotteries (as they should!) to not notice the red line.

In order to manage my “Unread” list (which is currently at 91 notifications, argh!), I recently went through my “Unread” list to manually remove closed lotteries by clicking in, and switching from “Tracking” to “Normal”. This is fine, but it takes time and is a bit clunky. Anyway, this has already diverged from my original suggestion! :rofl:

Tl;dr: I think the lottery section doesn’t function in the same way as the rest of the forum, so I was wondering if there was another way to optimise the usage of it for the purposes of lotteries, because we have so many (this community is great!). But of course it’s not exactly “broken”, so if in the end nothing happens it won’t be the end of the world. :slight_smile:

I don’t know. I did all of the screenshots with my phone, using the discourse app on android. What exactly doesn’t work on your phone?

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You could manually switch only those topics to “Tracking” which you actually want to track if you go to your Preferences - notifications - and then:

But then, well, you would have to do it manually for all other topics which you post in if you still want to follow them. Your decision. :wink:

Yep I could! But I do like the notifications for non-lottery topics. :slight_smile:

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