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2017 Lottery Statistics

Last updated: December 2, 2016 at 10:35 am

There are 4248 applicants for the 2017 Western States Lottery to be held on December 3, 2016 at Placer High School in Auburn from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Race Date for the 44th running of the event is June 24, 25, 2017.

Growth in the number of applicants continues to soar with a 21% increase in 2017 after a 37% increase in 2016.



As described on our lottery page, each runner who enters the lottery and fails to gain entry into the Run (and otherwise doesn’t gain an entry via other means such as an aid station, sponsor, Altra Golden Ticket spot, or Ultrarunning Magazine Series winners) will have additional tickets in the hat when entering the lottery the following year, thus improving the probability of being selected. Every lottery applicant will receive 2^(n-1) tickets in the hat where n is the number of consecutive years entering the lottery without gaining entry. That is, 1st year applicants = 1 ticket, 2nd year = 2 tickets, 3rd year = 4 tickets, 4th year = 8 tickets, 5th year = 16 tickets, 6th year = 32 tickets, 7th year = 64 tickets. The maximum number of years for the 2017 lottery is 7, or 64 tickets.

You can view the applicants and their ticket counts here. Here is the pdf of the tickets that will be printed, cut and then put into the barrel here on Friday December 2.

Starting in 2017 we are implementing a wait list model instead of overbooking like we have for decades. With the magic number allowed through the Granite Chief Wilderness being 369 and 117 automatic entrants, we will draw 250 in the lottery. The final two entrants to get to 369 will be drawn from those in the audience. We will also draw an additional 50 names for the ordered wait list. The probabilities for being selected as one of the 250 in the lottery are as follows:

  • 2 folks with 64 tickets, each has a 80% chance of getting drawn (1.6 estimated to be drawn)
  • 31 folks with 32 tickets, each has a 55.1% chance of getting drawn (17.1)
  • 112 folks with 16 tickets, each has a 33.0% chance of getting drawn (37.0)
  • 256 folks with 8 tickets, each has a 18.1% chance of getting drawn (46.6)
  • 397 folks with 4 tickets, each has a 9.5% chance of getting drawn (37.9)
  • 1023 folks with 2 tickets, each has a 4.9% chance of getting drawn (49.9)
  • 2427 folks with 1 ticket, each has a 2.5% chance of getting drawn (60.0)

Here are the 117 automatics (113 in 2016 lottery) which will be identified on the entrants list when we post on wser.org after the lottery.

  • 30 (28 in 2016) Race Admin (aid stations, trail crew, etc)
  • 24 (24) Golden Ticket Races
  • 20 (22) Sponsor slots
  • 19 (14) Top Ten Runners from 2016
  • 10 (10) Raffle Winners
  • 6 (6) UTWT elite foreign athletes
  • 3 (2) Special Consideration
  • 2 (3) Runners going for 10th finish
  • 1 (2) WSER Trustees
  • 1 (0) Silver Legend
  • 1 (#LetGordyRun) Gordy
  • 0 (2) Foreign Consideration

The lottery will take place at the Placer HS auditorium, in Auburn, CA. We will begin introductions a little before 8:30 a.m. PST and then begin drawing names shortly thereafter. We expect to be done by 11 a.m.

As names are pulled from the hat, they will be posted at http://www.ultralive.net/lottery as close to real-time as possible. There will also be a live video feed on our Facebook Page.

Good luck to everybody in the lottery.

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