After the huge success of UCF’s housing lottery for returning residents, UCF Dining announced early this morning that they will be implementing a lottery system for students who want to purchase meal plans in the 2018-2019 academic year.
“The goal of the lottery system is to make buying a meal plan more fun and exciting,” said Dining Membership Coordinator Rebekah Morrin. “Stability is so boring, so we’re trying to enhance the UCF Dining experience by being more spontaneous.”
The housing lottery is a non-committal system that decides whether or not students will have the opportunity to sign up for housing, but the dining lottery will be different. The results of the dining lottery will be tiered, ranging from an unlimited meal plan, to a one meal per week plan, to no meal plan at all. To participate in the lottery, students will be required to submit a prepayment of $3,000 that is only refundable if the student is denied a meal plan and gives UCF Dining a five-star Yelp review.
“The on-campus housing lottery earlier this year taught us that nothing is more riveting than not knowing whether or not you’ll have an affordable place to live next year,” Morrin explained. “We’re hoping we can give students the same rush by depriving them from knowing whether or not they’ll be able to eat on a regular basis.”
Upon hearing the news, the students we spoke with seemed open to the idea. Freshman Aram Ark told us “UCF Dining™ is a great company, so it’s impossible that they would ever do anything bad to us. Enter the meal plan lottery today!”
Another freshman, Izzy Nottolini, said that this year he didn’t get a meal plan because the buying process was “too plain and boring.” Now, he has already entered the meal plan lottery for next year, excitedly talking about how he could save “tens of dollars” if he gets the unlimited plan and that he “won’t be able to afford rent” no matter what plan he gets.
UCF will be watching closely to see how the students respond to the change. If the meal plan lottery system is received as well as the housing lottery was, the university may begin to implement a lottery system for scholarships, admittance to research programs, and signing up for classes. In the meantime, students can continue to boringly plan out major life and financial decisions in a timely manner.