Last week I celebrated this website's second birthday and posted details of an amazing, sensational, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a lucky reader to win a prize to attend one of my 'Introduction to Data Visualisation' training course free of charge.

To enter, all you had to do was submit a comment against the original post with a reason for why you wanted to attend the training course. The degree of compelling-ness, the amount of flattery and the level of deserving you were able articulate unfortunately had no influence whatsoever on the truly random nature of the prize draw.

As I have done for previous contests I decided to dust off an old Excel VBA routine to randomly spin through all the valid entries and entrants. I then pressed record on my (worryingly) shakily-held iPhone and made the video below. I uploaded it to YouTube, lost a bit of resolution, and realised that some viewers may succumb to travel sickness when watching the footage. However, for transparency I had to be faithful to sticking with the very first draw I did and so, counting down from 10 to zero, the winner is... Nina Pilar!

Congratulations to the winner and thanks to all who entered and sorry that you couldn't all win but hopefully I'll see some of you during my training tour anyway...

Best of the visualisation web... January 2012 (part 1)
Esquire's 'The United States of 2012'