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Prom Dates Are Randomly Assigned By Lottery at This School So No One Gets Left Out

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Prom season is nigh, which means that the exciting (and at times, bewildering) process of asking someone to the event is imminent. However, a high school in Freeport, Illinois is taking a unique approach to helping their students find prom dates: the lottery system.

According to Illinois’ WREX, Aquin High School has been using the luck of the draw to help pair off their students for nine decades, with this year being the 91st lottery. Male students draw names of female students in the school library, while girls wait for them in the school’s gym. After the names are drawn, a skit is performed to reveal who their dates are.

The lottery system started in 1926, to ensure that all students had a date to prom, but the current students still think it’s a great tradition.

“New dates, new skits, it’s always fun,” said Senior student Dennis Neery. Junior class advisor Michelle Gallagher suggested that the friendly, community-oriented aspect helps to make the lottery successful.

“I think most people are in disbelief and a lot of people say they would hate it,” she said. “But I think after they kind of hear the rest of the story and hear what goes into it I think a lot of people are actually intrigued by it. It’s less of a date and more like something fun to do with your classmates.”


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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com