June 24, 2019 | 72° F

From 8049 to 1: Recipient of 1st housing lottery number discloses her journey

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The Rutgers housing system uses a combination of seniority points and randomly assigned lottery numbers to determine where students end up living. Meet this year's recipient of the ultimate prize — lottery number one.

It is something every Rutgers student desires, yet very few actually achieve — the No.1 lottery number in the annual housing lottery.

Despite the rarity of receiving the first spot, many students still yearn for it every year. Rutgers School of Nursing junior Morgan Jones said it felt unrealistic when she received the email from Residence Life that said she was chosen as No. 1 this year.

“Last year when I applied I got 8,049, so I was expecting a number around there again. But I was so proud of myself even though it doesn't make much sense since the lottery is random, but still," she said.

When she got the email on Jan. 26, Jones said she could not believe it, and she initially thought the number was a smudge on her phone.

After re-logging into her email to make sure it was not an error, Jones said it took her 10 minutes to realize what actually happened, and then she called her mom to explain.

The housing lottery is completely random, according to the Rutgers Residence Life website. Each student who applied for the lottery is given a computer-generated number, which is used throughout the housing selection process.

Seniority also plays a factor in the housing lottery as well, according to the website. Students are assigned points based on their class year, with upperclassmen assigned more points toward on-campus apartments and underclassmen assigned more points toward doubles and suites.

Jones said she feels with the No.1 spot it would be silly of her not to select The Yard @ College Avenue as her first choice of living options.

During winter break, Jones and her mother had discussed housing options and came to the conclusion she would have to live in a double because of the prices of on-campus housing, she said. Because she is going to be a senior next year, she was unhappy with the dorm decision.

“So low-key I was hoping to maybe get a decent enough lottery number to get a single. But once I told my mom I got number one she was so happy for me," she said. "Though it wasn't (until) the next day that she called me and told me to ignore our conversation from winter break and apply to The Yard because she wants me to have the best senior year I possibly can."

Chloe Dopico is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in political science and journalism and media studies. She is the Associate News Editor for The Daily Targum.

Chloe Dopico

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