BROWSE STORIES

Sam, NC, 1969. No. 313: Unusual How Things Happen

I was in the advanced portion of Air Force ROTC at NCSU when the first drawing of the lottery was held. My lottery number came out 313. I went to the Commandant of Cadets and requested a departure from the program. I was informed that I had two choices: stay in the...

Hilton, California, 1969. No. 10: A Taste For Travel

I was just talking with a friend tonight about the draft lottery at dinner here in Florence, Italy.I was born, grew up and went to school in Raleigh, N.C., including of course N.C. State. My draft number of 10 was chosen in the very first lottery based on my birthday....

Charles, NC, 1969. No. 362: Flat-Footed

I was married at the time of the lottery, with a one year-old son. I had been using the student deferment, but due to my low GPA I was out of school for a semester. There goes my deferment. I was called for physicals two times and got out due to flat feet. I was set...

David, Georgia, 1969. No Effect On Me

Being in AFROTC from 1967 to 1971, the lottery had no effect on me. I don't even remember the lottery nights that others are mentioning. I graduated in 1971, was commissioned 2nd LT, went to grad school for 2 years, entered active duty in 1973, served in Montgomery,...

Robert, Texas, 1969. No. 366: After The Fact

Of course there was a lot of interest among the male students concerning the December 1969 draft lottery drawing--the Vietnam war, although winding down, was still very much a war, and deferments were no longer available to engineering students. I wasn't concerned...

Walt, NC, 1969. No. 6: All Should Serve

On the night of the televised lottery, my girlfriend and I had gone to the library to study together.  On my return to the fraternity house, I learned that I missed the first 12 draft picks.  The brothers had put together a draft pool for the unlucky guy with the...

Stephen, NC, 1969. No. 39: Scared The Pudding Out of Me

About a dozen of us guys in Sullivan dorm (NCSU) sat up to watch the lottery.  I was never lucky and this night my number came up much too soon.  39.  Disappointment and a big dose of apprehension.  I wasn't particularly focused and at the end of the semester flunked...

Lynn, NC, 1969. No. 107: Captain For A Week

I was married, and a senior in college. My lottery draft number was 107. Bobby D., who went to NC State with me, graduated from high school with me and was born in the same hospital in Statesville, NC, just enough hours later to be born the day after me, drew No....

Robert, NC, 1969. No. 38: One Lost Semester

I was No. 38. I managed to get into an Army National Guard mechanized infantry unit. I spent six years with that group, on "immediate reserve status" for three of those years. I had to drop out of NCSU seven weeks into my final semester for basic and AIT, and later...

Wayne, Florida, 1969. No. 190: Take No Chances

Oh man! My number is 190, and the cut-off lottery number will be 180-200. Should I enlist in the navy or AF and apply to officer candidate school? Or risk being a army pvt. destined for the jungles of Vietnam? So, I go down to the AF recruiting office where I'm a...

Matt, NC, 1969. No. 12: The Competition

We were a tight group that lived as dorm rats at Bragaw Hall on the N.C. State University campus. We ate together, played together, and dated together. And we were very competitive. We competed at every level whether we went bowling or were shooting hoops or were...

Ed, Massachusetts, 1969. No. 148: The Double Bolo

I was in my senior year of college when they held the draft lottery. For many of us, the lottery and the elimination of some draft deferments turned life into a strange game of chance. I eventually got drafted, and the skills I learned in the Army helped me get...

Ron, NC, 1969. No. 344: Bitter Sweet

The draft lottery was a time of anxiety and a time of personal introspection.  With all the anti-war sentiment around us and my desire to complete my engineering degree (I was a sophomore), I kept asking the question, "What effect is this lottery going to have on...

Mark, California, 1970. No. 191: Benefits Of High School Football

Got my draft number and was not happy. The year before, the lottery had gone up to 212. I got a consultation with a "draft lawyer" who suggested that I apply for a medical exam. This was based on the fact that by the time I was 18 years old I already had three...

Jay, NC, 1969. No. 55: Weekend Warrior

I was a junior at NC State living with a couple of classmates in an apartment off campus on the night of the fateful first lottery.  Two of us got low numbers and the third guy lucked out with a number over 200.  The guy with the other low number was already in Air...

Ted, NC, 1969. No. 342: Old Ladies And Cripples First

As an ROTC cadet, we were signing the paperwork for entering the Air Force as an officer upon graduation or enlisted if you dropped out of school. As we started to sign, someone said "let's go around the room and say our lottery numbers." Most were under 100 and many...

Doug, NC, 1969. No. 366: Coming In Last

I was involved in the very first lottery in 1969.  I was a sophomore at North Carolina State University, single, and prime for the draft.  I was not an avid supporter of the Vietnam war, but was not a draft dodger either.  Had I been drafted I would have gone, but...

D. Web, California, 1971. No. 212: From Cook To Clergy

I recall that the lottery was held when I was a camp counselor between my freshman and sophomore years at Univ. of Calif. at Santa Barbara.  All the males on the camp staff had logged their birth dates with the camp administrative staff.  When anyone's birthday was...

Phil, California, 1969. No. 74: Weight Limit

When I finished my BA at UCLA in the winter quarter of 1970, my draft status was immediately changed to I-A.  With the low number in the lottery, I was not surprised to receive a notice to appear for a pre-induction evaluation at a federal building somewhere on...

George, Michigan, 1969. No. 345: 100 Navy Bases

The years 1968 and 1969 produced a great deal of anxiety for my wife and for me. During 1969 I passed my physical, was classified I-A and held a student deferment to complete my Master's degree in medical entomology.  I thought the war made no sense, but I was...

Jay, NC, 1969. No. 324: Tuskegee Nephew

My number was 324 but the lottery was a non-event for me.  I left home for NC State planning to enroll in ROTC and to become an officer in military aviation.  My uncle was a Tuskeegee Airman and this was my dream from early childhood.  I remember reading his flight...

George, Georgia, 1969. No. 345: No Troubles In The World

I recall the significance of that night.  I was watching in my fraternity house at North Carolina State.  There was a strange irony after the lottery was over that many of us were drinking beer, some because they were celebrating in relief and the others to drown...

Jay, Wisconsin, 1969. Doctor Draft

I was already in medical school at the time of the draft lottery, having entered in the fall of 1968. There was a special "Doctor Draft" that drafted all doctors after one year of internship into the military as General Medical Officers.  Introduction to war training...

Fraz, Michigan, 1969. No. 2: Platoon Medic In The Bush

I had applied for and was granted a classification 1-A-0 which was a concientious objector opposed to taking human life, but not opposed to a Nation's right to raise up an Army. Three funny things happened: the Marines wanted me, but they couldn't accept a 1-A-0; the...

Lanny, NC, 1969. No 1!: A Lionel Train Set and The Draft Lottery

I tell people that I've only won two things in my life: a Lionel train set during 7th grade and the 1969 draft lottery.  I was a senior at NC State on selection night in 1969, studying with the radio tuned into the lottery.  When September 14th, my birthday, was...

Rhodes, Florida, 1970. No. 42: Not Supposed To Happen

Although I had had some ROTC experience, I was not enamored with going to Viet Nam. OCS was closed when I graduated in June of 1970, so I enlisted, in an attempt to obtain an MOS that was non-combat related. I went into the Quartermaster Corps after completing basic...

Erm, Alabama, 1969. No. 68: Guaranteed To Be Picked

Scary times... My wife was 4 months pregnant (the exemption for children had recently been discontinued) and I had just drawn a guaranteed-to-get- picked number. I was to graduate in May of 1970. Before I finished up at NCSU I was called up for a physical in April....

Jerry, North Carolina, 1969. No. 241: A Brother's Sacrifice

My lottery number was low enough for me to get a letter from the Draft Board to report for a physical. I was a student at NC State, married with one child and one on the way.  I wasn't particulary fond of being drafted but I wasn't going to dodge my responsibility...

David, Nevada, 1969. No. 107: On The Button

I was a UCLA student during the first lottery in 1969.  When it occurred, my birthday came up 107 and I was I-A as student deferments had been dispensed with.  At that time, we heard the government was going to take all numbers up to 195 so I wasn't too thrilled.  I...

Dave, North Carolina, 1969. No. 326: The Morning After

I was attending NC State and living in an apartment with two roommates. One of my friends (Tim) from Campbell College showed up at the apartment and suggested we all go out partying as the lottery could change our lives forever. (We were all I-A). My two roomies...

Ray, New Jersey, 1969. No. 105: Stunned But Happy

I was a senior at North Carolina State University when the 1969 lottery was held, and when my number came up as 105, it seemed inevitable that I would be drafted. I decided, though, that I would live my life just as I had intended before the lottery, and let the chips...

David, Alabama, 1969. No. 110: Soldiers Of The Lottery

I was a senior at NC State and deeply (perhaps too deeply) involved in ROTC, when the draft took place.  Like most of my fellow students, the night of the lottery, I was in the TV room watching and when my number came up as 110, I was actually happy I was in ROTC and...

William, North Carolina, 1969. No. 158: Haven't Jumped Since

Student deferment -1966-1970Joined the Army October 1970Went to 5th Special Forces Group right after the 5th PCSed to Ft. Bragg, so no Viet Nam for meSeptember 1973 got out and went to Graduate SchoolNovember 1975 joined 19th Special Forces Group and left it August...

Jay, North Carolina, 1969. No. 48: Goodbye Grad School

My senior year at NC State University I earned a full scholarship to graduate school in Virginia when I drew 48 in the lottery.  I knew I was going into the service since my student exemption would not carry over.  I accepted a job with Eastman Chemical Company since...

Ivan, North Carolina, 1969. No. 358: A Great Night To Drink

Do I remember that night? Hell YEAH. 358!!I was on the Technician school newspaper staff and they had a teletype machine. They started the lottery on the radio but quit after ten numbers.  As I was driving over to the office I heard, blah blah 24. My birthday is June...

Donald, N.C., 1969. No. 249: A Fixed-Wing Slot For A Good 'Ol Boy

I was a junior in Aerospace Engineering and a Kappa Alpha at North Carolina State U. when the first lottery and lottery party was held. Frats never needed much of a reason to party but this one had a darker tone to it. I hit No. 249 and was considered very safe which...

Richard, California, 1970. No. 211: Ending Draft Exposure

The annual lottery drawing event was watched with anticipation by students as a sort of public event in the undergraduate Powell Library at UCLA (where I was a college junior).  Since my drawn birthdate number was a relatively high 211, and the prior year only called...

Jim, North Carolina, 1969. No. 307: A Father's Advice

I remember the tension leading up to the draft and the relief when I realized my number pretty much protected me from becoming eligible. I also remember one night in my dorm room where I struggled with my conscience about knowing guys who were drafted or soon to be,...

Duane, Texas, 1969. No. 1: Four Year Liquor Supply

In December of 1969, I had just started my first year in medical school in Chicago as I had left NCSU after three years. I sat around with my roommates and a bunch of guys from my class to watch the lottery on TV. We all put up a fifth of liquor, and whoever drew the...

Chet, North Carolina, 1969. No. 172: Guardian Angel

I was in the original lottery of 1969 as a Junior at NC State. Our fraternity had a big Lottery party and pool with low number getting 3/4 the pot and high number 1/4. As usual I was in the middle of the pack at 172.During the spring of my senior year, I had to take...

Don, New Jersey, 1969. No. 242: Hot Off The Teletype

The evening the first lottery was held, a large number of male students and their girlfriends waited for the results outside the the offfice of the school newspaper, the 'Technician', next to Syme Hall.  As the results came in over the Technician's Teletype (it was...

Larry, Florida, 1969. No. 19: Parris Island 1970

I studied Nuclear Engineering at NC State from 1966-1970. In February of 1969, my best friend from high school in Alabama was killed in Vietnam. I had tried to talk him out of dropping out of Auburn and joining the Army, but he was stubborn and did it anyway. I was...

Art, North Carolina, 1969. No. 354: Mixed Feelings All Around

I was finishing up my final semester at NCSU... had been in Air Force ROTC in anticipation of going into the service. The lottery changed everything at the time, and perhaps for my life. I had held campus interviews and was offered a position at RCA Computer Graphics...

Frederick, North Carolina, 1969. No. 9: The Polar Bear Command

This is the only lottery that I ever won, and probably the only one that I ever will.  I was a student in college & was reclassified because I stayed out of school for one semester and got married.  That made me eligible for the lottery.  Every time that I was...

Craig, North Carolina, 1969. No. 2: I'll Wait Til The Next War

I was an English Ed student when the lottery occurred...my birthdate, Nov. 22, was the SECOND ping pong ball to pop up...I remember thinking "Oh hell."I had a brother-in-law-to-be who was an English major at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory and he was one year older...

Jim, North Carolina, 1970. No. 195: Lessons Not Learned

I graduated from NC State University in 1970.  Some time during my undergraduate years (1966 - 1970) I had receieved my II-S classification which allowed me a student deferment.  Shortly after graduating in May of 1970 I received my I-A classification along with...

Wade, North Carolina, 1969. No. 314: 30 Years In The Classroom

I had about a year left in college before graduation when the lottery took place.  My degree was to be in secondary education and it was my hope that I would be teaching in a high school somewhere in NC.  I remember watching the lottery on television and when my...

Bob, Virginia, 1969. No. 355: Motorcycle Lottery

I was in the infamous 1969 lottery during my first senior year at NC State.  My birth month was January and I ended up with a very high lottery number. But in the spring of 1967 I had signed the Army ROTC contract, so my draft lottery number didn't matter. I graduated...

Will, North Carolina, 1969. No 47: The Best And Worst Of Times

I was a senior at NC State University and very ready to get out of there.  The Vietnam War made for very tense times and soldiers were getting killed.  Every night on the news there was film footage of battles and the number of dead for the day.  I had no use for the...

Sherman, Illinois, 1969. No. 215: Never Forget That Night

Will never forget that night. I was at a small college in Iowa. Everyone, at least the 19 year olds, had ears glued to the radio, eyes to the tv. After the drawing, after the cheers, after the smashed tvs and radios, the bars were full; either you were celebrating...