What's Your Number? The Vietnam War Selective Service Lottery | HistoryNet MENU

What’s Your Number? The Vietnam War Selective Service Lottery

By Vietnam magazine
11/25/2009 • Vietnam Extra

(Selective Service Archive)
(Selective Service Archive)

During the Vietnam War, young men gathered in college dorms and friends’ homes to listen to live TV and radio broadcasts of the U.S. Selective Service System drawing lottery numbers to determine who would and would not be drafted. The 2010 issue of Vietnam magazine revisits those days in the article, “Live from Washington, It’s Lottery Night 1969!!”

366 blue plastic capsules contained the birthdays that would be chosen in the first Vietnam draft lottery drawing on December 1, 1969. The first birth date drawn that night, assigned the lowest number, “001,” was September 14.

How would YOU have done?

Find your birthday in the chart below to see what order you would have been called to service.

How did Prominent Figures do?

Oliver Stone: 113, September 14, 1946

Pat Sajak: 007, October 26, 1946

Bruce Springsteen: 119, September 23, 1949

Sylvester Stallone: 327, July 6, 1946

Samuel Alito: 032, April 1, 1950

Clarence Thomas: 109, June 23, 1948

Dan Quayle: 210, February 4, 1947

Al Gore: 030, March 31, 1948

Bill Clinton: 311, August 19, 1946

George W. Bush: 327, July 6, 1946

Billy Crystal: 354, March 14, 1947

David Letterman: 346, April 12, 1947

Tom Daschle: 043, December 9, 1947

Howard Dean: 143, December 17, 1948

Tom DeLay: 312, April 8, 1947

Jay Leno: 223, April 28, 1950

Rudy Giuliani: 308, May 28, 1944

Stephen King: 204, September 21, 1947

Donald Trump: 356, June 14, 1946

OJ Simpson: 277, July 9, 1947

Bill Murray: 204, September 21, 1950

*Some in this list, who were already serving and whose draft status had been resolved, were not affected by the draft lottery. Otherwise, every male aged 19 to 26 had a stake in the 1970 draft lottery, as it determined the order in which men with birth dates between 1944 and 1950 were called to report for induction in 1970. Some on the above list were already serving, received student or medical deferments, volunteered for other service, or for various other reasons were not drafted in 1970.

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