The draft lottery changed my life. In 1969 I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and took a teaching job, mainly because it offered an occupational deferral. But teaching was not my ambition and I needed some career focus. The draft lottery gave me the opportunity to get that focus. When the lottery numbers were released in December, I was one of the lucky folks. My number was 309. I don’t remember needing to communicate with the draft board in Upstate New York. I assume they got the news as I recall it was based on your birthdate.
Within a few weeks I resigned from the Ruffin High School in Rockingham County, N.C. and contacted the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to see if I could enroll as a "special student". In that era, Carolina allowed recent graduates to return for additional undergraduate courses. It was a real gift. I was more focused, intent on figuring out what I would do. I stayed at Carolina for 3 more semesters of undergrad work and entered Public Health graduate school in the summer of 1971. Seven years later I returned to Carolina for my public health Ph.D. I might have gotten there anyway, but the lottery lit the fuse in 1969.