"To enter, students have to sign up to the event and then log into Facebook on 27 May at 11am," NCLT explained. "We will post on our facebook wall the LPC fees which will gradually reduce throughout the day. When a student sees the fees at a level they are willing to pay, they simply have to be the first to write on the NCLT facebook wall 'I want that LPC!'."
27 May was, of course, yesterday. So what happened?
Well, it began with what NCLT termed "a bang", when it announced before the bidding had started that it was doing a "PRICEDROP", cutting the cost of the LPC place being auctioned from £8,500 to £7,200. So £7,200 was the opening price.
As you can see below, moments later Eleanor Chikoore wrote "I want that LPC". And the auction was over.
After a number of students complained about how quickly the auction had ended, eagle-eyed Umar Shafat spotted that Chikoore hadn't included an exclamation mark in her "I want that LPC" acceptance, as the NCLT sign-up page had instructed.
In response, NCLT awkwardly pointed out that "in the terms and conditions attached it does not have the exclamation mark", before trying to divert attention to its mistake with a reference to the weather: "i'm sorry that on the sign up form page it does but the correct phrase is 'I want that LPC'..and it's a glorious sunny day so i'm sure we can let the exclamation mark slide "
Then, with whoever organised the competition no doubt fearful of the wrath of their supervisors on Monday morning, a further auction was hastily arranged (which, presumably, will be better thought through).
"BREAKING NEWS," wrote NCLT on its Facebook page. "Due to popular demand we will be back with another auction. Check our page tomorrow to find out the date and time of the next auction! Happy sunday everyone!"