A lottery number is a unique combination of numbers and letters that is used to identify each student during the NYC school admissions process. It is the number that determines a student’s chance of getting into their preferred school. The DOE’s decision to use a single lottery number for all schools is a topic of debate among parents who believe that students with good lottery numbers will not be offered their top choice school and would have an easier time if there was a separate lottery number for each school.
While it is true that a student’s lottery number may appear to be unfair or biased, research has shown that a single lottery number does not penalize students. In fact, using a single number increases the chances of students matching with their top-choice school.
When selecting lottery numbers, many people choose numbers based on hot, cold, or overdue statistics. Hot numbers are those that have been drawn more frequently, while cold or overdue numbers have not been pulled as often. Some people also choose lottery numbers based on visual or cultural appeal, like a birthday date or a TV show character. These methods can reduce a lottery ticket’s winning potential, and make it more likely that a lottery winner will have to split their prize.
The lottery number is 32 characters long, in a format called UUID. These numbers are used in computer programming because computers encode everything in base 16 (binary: 0 or 1). The first two characters give a good indication of where the lottery number is expected to stand in comparison to other lottery numbers, with 0.4% precision.