Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Lottery Rules and Regulations

Urban New York Tickets

The Lottery

The Urban New York (UNY) program is made up of three separate lotteries, one in the fall and two in the spring.  During the fall there is the First-Year Lottery open to incoming first-year Barnard College (BC), Columbia College (CC), and Columbia Engineering (SEAS) students. In the spring, there is a General Lottery open to all undergraduates in CC, SEAS, and BC students as well as a Senior Lottery open to CC and SEAS graduating seniors.  Ineligible registrations will be removed.  For questions or more information email

Rules and Regulations

General Information 

By entering the Urban NY lottery (whether a winner or on the waitlist), you agree to the program rules and regulations.

  • There are 3 lotteries a year, but only one lottery is open at a time
  • The lotteries typically open at the beginning of each semester for approximately 5-10 days 
  • The Fall First-year Lottery is ONLY open to first-year  transfer, visiting, and combined plan NEW students in Barnard College, Columbia College, and School of Engineering
  • The Spring General Lottery is open to ALL undergraduate students in BC, CC, and SEAS
  • The Spring Senior Lottery is ONLY open to Senior undergraduate students in CC and SEAS (BC students are not eligible for this lottery)
  • Students are only allowed to win 1 Urban NY trip through-out their time at BC or Columbia University.  Winners are ineligible to register or win for further lotteries (Ex. If you win as a first-year during the Fall First-year lottery, you are no-longer able to register for any lotteries throughout your 4 years)
  • Winners who are unable to attend the Urban NY trip, regardless of the reason, are not eligible to register for or win future lotteries
  • Students placed on the waitlist for an event are still eligible to register for a lottery and win a ticket in the future, regardless of attending the trip or not
  • A student may only be a ticket-holder or a waitlisted registrant for one event

Register for the Lottery  

 Opening and closing dates are announced at the beginning of each semester.

  • Students can only register for an Urban NY lottery if and win the lottery is open. 
  • The lottery will be run following the close of registration
  • Once the lottery is closed student are no longer able to enter or register. No exceptions
  • During the registration process, students are given an opportunity to select what events they are interested in in-order of preference 
  • During registration, students have the option to be placed on the “waitlist” for any event they desire, in order of preference, for a chance to attend the event via the waitlist
  • Lottery winners will receive and email from the trip leader to confirm their attendance and to inform them of their trip details
  • Those placed on the waitlist will also receive an email notifying them of the results
  • Non-winners will also be notified of their status via email

Lottery Winners

  • Lottery winners will receive an email from the Urban NY Trip Leader to confirm their attendance and to inform them of their trip details
  • Winners are no longer eligible to enter future lotteries. Winners are blocked from being able to register. 
  • A student may only be a winner or on the waitlist for one event at a time
  • Winners must be physically present at the meeting location within 10 minutes of the meeting time
  • Winners who do not arrive within 10 minutes of the meeting time - even by 1 minute - will lose their spot to waitlisted students or students waiting on standby
  • The group will not wait for a ticket winner if the winner does not show up on time
  • All ticket holders must travel to the location together as a group

Winners Unable to Attend the Urban NY Trip....

  • regardless of the reason, are not eligible to register or win future lotteries
  • are not allowed to transfer their ticket to anyone else
  • must notify their Trip Leader immediately to allow waitlisted students to attend in their place 
  • should release their slot before 9am the business day before their scheduled event


  • Student placed on the waitlist for an event will receive an email from the Trip Leader notifying them of their status
  • If a ticket is made available before the posted meeting time, the trip leader will contact all waitlist members via email notifying them of any available ticket
  • Waitlist tickets are given on a “first-come, first-served” basis and therefore the first student to respond to the email will secure the ticket
  • If a ticket is made available near or at the posted meeting time, the assigned Trip Leader will release tickets to any waitlist member physically present
    • The Trip Leader will provide a sign-in sheet at the meeting location so students can sign-up in order of arrival
  • Those who are on the waitlist, regardless of attending the trip, are still eligible to enter and win future Urban NY lotteries


  • If there are any open tickets due to last minute cancellations and/or no-shows, Trip Leaders will release tickets to any CC, SEAS, or BC students in the order of arrival who are physically present at the meeting location
  • Tickets will be offered to those on standby only after those on the waitlist have been given the chance to secure tickets via the above process
  • Any CC, SEAS and BC student can show up at the scheduled meeting time and notify the trip leader that they are there to obtain a standby ticket
    • The Trip Leader will provide a sign-in sheet at the meeting location asking for your name, school, and class year. No show tickets will be accommodated on first-come, first-serve basis and therefore the trip leader will note the time of arrival
  • Past winners of any lottery are able to obtain tickets via standby
  • The Urban New York Program does not guarantee the availability of standby tickets


  • Students must provide their own transportation costs to and from the trip  
  • Unless otherwise stated, transportation will be via the NYC Public Transit system.  It is recommended all students purchase their MetroCards before the trip
  • All winners and ticket holders are required to meet at the meeting time and location and travel together as a group
  • If you are registered with Disabilities Services and need accommodations regarding transportation, please notify your Trip Leader or contact


  • Alcohol of any kind is not permitted during any of the Urban NY trips
  • Many trips sell alcoholic beverages at the venues, however Urban NY student winners are not allowed to partake-in or purchase any alcohol, despite being 21+

Why am I am having trouble registering for a lottery?

There are various reason you may not be able to register:

  1. The lottery may not be open and/or has already closed.  
  2. You may have already won an Urban NY lottery ticket, which automatically blocks you from the system making you ineligible to register.
  3. If you are a past winner but did not attend the trip, you are also blocked and ineligable from being able to register.
  4. You do not qualify to enter in the current lottery. EX) if you are a freshman trying to register for the Spring Senior lottery
  5. You are not a currently enrolled undergraduate student in CC, SEAS, or BC.  The lottery is only open to students in these schools.

If the above reason do not apply to you and you are still experiencing difficulty registering, please email with your first and last name, UNI, class standing, your school, and a short description of the issue.  Please attached or forward any screen shots you think may be relevant. Please give the Urban New York team 1-2 business days to reply. 


Student Engagement


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2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

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Fax: 212-854-6972

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