A lottery drawing - the first since 1942 - was held on December 1, 1969, at Selective Service National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. This event determined the order of call for induction during calendar year 1970; that is, for registrants born between January 1, 1944, and December 31, 1950. Reinstitution of the lottery was a change from the "draft the oldest man first" method, which had been the determining method for deciding order of call.

There were 366 blue plastic capsules containing birth dates placed in a large glass container and drawn by hand to assign order-of-call numbers to all men within the 18-26 age range specified in Selective Service law.

With radio, film, and TV coverage, the capsules were drawn from the container, opened, and the dates inside posted in order. The first capsule - drawn by Congressman Alexander Pirnie (R-NY) of the House Armed Services Committee - contained the date September 14, so all men born on September 14 in any year between 1944 and 1950 were assigned lottery number 1. The drawing continued until all days of the year had been paired with sequence numbers.

Rep. Alexander Pirnie, R-NY, draws the first capsule in the lottery drawing held on Dec. 1, 1969. 

Photo, above: Rep. Alexander Pirnie, R-NY, draws the first capsule in
the lottery drawing held on December 1, 1969.  The capsule contained
the date, September 14.

Table Date of Drawing

Applied to

Year of Birth


Processing Number

1970   December 1, 1969 1944-1950        195
1971   July 1, 1970 1951        125
1972   August 5, 1971 1952        95
1973   February 2, 1972 1953        95
1974   March 8, 1973 1954        95
1975   March 20, 1974 1955        95
1976   March 12, 1975 1956        95




Administrative processing number (APN) denotes the highest lottery numbers called for each table year. The APN (highest number) called for a physical was 215 for tables 1970 through 1976.


The last draft call was on December 7, 1972, and the authority to induct expired on June 30, 1973. The date of the last drawing for the lottery was on March 12, 1975. Registration with the Selective Service System was suspended on April 1, 1975, and registrant processing was suspended on January 27, 1976.


Registration was resumed in July 1980 for men born in 1960 and later, and is in effect to this present time. Men are required to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday.






Each table shows all the birth dates in a given year and the lottery numbers assigned to those dates. Read the tables like a multiplication table. At the top of the table are the months of the year. In the first column, on the far left, are the dates of the month. The numbers in the center represent lottery numbers.  Thus, the tabular format is set up to show the random selection sequence, by month and day.


The order of selection from among men born on the same date would be determined by the order in which the first letters of their last, first, and middle names were drawn. For example, for Mr. Robert Brown, the alphabetical random selection sequence number for “B” is 25 and “R” is 23.





1 J
2 G
3 D
4 X
5 N
6 O
7 Z
8 T
9 W
10 P
11 Q
12 Y
13 U
14 C
15 F
16 I
17 K
18 H
19 S
20 L
21 M
22 A
23 R
24 E
25 B
26 V


Issued 1969 – Applied 1970 through 1976

Sequence applied – First letter of last, first, middle name


Related topics:

The Lottery
Background of the Selective Service System