2020 Vermont 100 Lottery – What Are the Odds?

Anyone who’s run the VT100 in the past is well aware that I am an engineer, and love data and spreadsheets.  (Those who haven’t run the VT100 yet…well, if you ever do, you’ll experience this!)  Anyway, to answer some questions about the data behind the VT100 registration…I’ve got the info below to share.

Lottery Odds:

First thing to keep in mind is that the 2019 VT100 was the first year of the lottery – so we don’t have years’ worth of data on the lottery odds.  But, happy to share the info that I have.

In 2019, the lottery odds were 78% chance for the 100 miler and 62% chance in the 100k.

Waitlist Odds:

In my 5 years of RDing, I’ve ALWAYS seen the entire waitlist clear by race day.  That means that if you’re not selected in the lottery but patient on the waitlist, odds are extremely high that you’ll get moved off the waitlist and get to toe the line in July.  So, please be patient but know that there’s no guarantee.

Early Registration/Lottery Bypass Numbers:

Folks are often worried that all of the spots for the race will be taken by those allowed to bypass the lottery.  We work to keep a healthy balance of those who have earned the right to guarantee an entry into the race, while still keeping plenty of spots available to anyone else that wants to race.  We started the early registration in 2015, and have had between 54 and 85 runners annually enter for the 100 miler through this program.  In the 100k, 2019 was the first time that we honored early entry for this distance, and 7 spots were taken by lottery bypass runners.

Why the lottery?

We understand that the decision to go to a lottery can be controversial.  However, with registration filling in mere minutes for several years prior to 2019, it was essentially a lottery of luck anyway.  If your computer refreshed 30-seconds after someone else’s, or you entered your credit card info incorrectly the first time, you would likely have found yourself on the waitlist having been beaten out by someone who simply had better luck or faster typing skills.  We feel that going to a lottery simply makes official the digital ‘luck of the draw’ that decided who got in and who ended on the waitlist in the past.

A further benefit to the VT100 lottery system is that when folks aren’t rushed to quickly enter their info during registration, they are more likely to enter information correctly.  It has greatly reduced our workload to not have to correct numerous registration errors that were made during hasty registrations.

No decision regarding any race is perfect, however we do the best we can to ensure that all athletes have an equal opportunity to participate.

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