real photo of these guys after checking their lottery number

To inaugurate the start of housing selection, Bwog presents a brief interview with the group with the highest lottery number for In-Person Selection: 30/8. 

This year, the first slot for In-Person Selection went to a group of five rising seniors: John Zaris, Abhinav Suresh, Fernando Montes, Dimitri Godur, and John Pavlides, all ’20. Jealous (rising) junior Zoe Sottile spoke to a few of them.

1. Wow!
Abhinav Suresh: Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Fernando Montes: Agreed!
2. What did you do when you found out?
A.S.: I was sitting in my room with my friend Pavlides when I mentioned that housing lottery numbers came out. I opened my email and just stared at the screen while he just looked at me asking “Is it good? Is it… bad?” When I looked back at him, I just said “8”. His jaw dropped and we just started laughing. Later, there may have been some libations to celebrate.
F.M.: Told Suresh thanks.
John Zaris:  I found out that we had such great lottery number when my suitemate Abhinav texted me. At first I thought he was joking. Then I considered that he might be looking at the wrong screen and may be reading an unrelated number. It was only when I went online and checked the list of UNIs sorted by lottery number that I believed it. We may or may not have gotten drinks that night to celebrate . . .
3. Did you have to keep it a secret?
A.S.: Hell no! Now, we didn’t go around mentioning our lottery numbers, but we’d ask some of our friends about theirs. They’d ask us back out of courtesy, and then we’d have a chance to brag a little.
F.M.: Nah, anyone that’s asked we’ve told.
J.Z.: It’s definitely not a secret.  I don’t think we go out of our way to tell people, but if it comes up in conversation we won’t hesitate to brag.
4. Who was the first person you told?
A.S.: After some of my housing block, I told some of our close friends that had lived with us before and then my parents.
F.M.: No clue.
J.Z.:I think the first people I told were some guys who lived with us this year but switched groups for next year.  They probably regret their decision :).  I also texted my parents.
5. How does it feel? 
A.S.: Too good. Carlton Arms isn’t exactly the paragon of envy, and we’ve definitely enjoyed our improved prospects. Plus, knowing that we are literally the first people to pick any room on campus feels pretty amazing.
F.M.: Awesome, I got my second-to-last choice housing (Hartley) freshman year, so this feels like redemption.
J.Z.: I just keep thinking about the crazy odds of winning the first pick.  After we got our number we felt pressure to scope out all of the dorms and find THE best suite!  In fact I went to speak with housing to talk about options and to make sure we didn’t overlook any great suites.
6. Do you feel prepared for in-person selection? What are you gonna pick?
A.S.: Definitely. We’re getting a top floor EC corner suite with all singles, so we can’t really complain. Plus EC2020 for people all in the class of 2020? Poetic.
F.M.: EC2020, pretty much an instant unanimous decision.
J.Z.: We are definitely prepared.  We will be choosing East Campus 2020 and we’re all happy with our rooms.  All singles, corner suite, great views, and a huge living room.  I’m very excited!
7. Have you always had such good housing luck?
A.S.: Pretty much. I got my top choice of a John Jay Single when I was a freshman. We’ve had good numbers as sophomores, having lived in pretty large McBain rooms. We even had a good number this year but screwed up with our suite sizes, so we had to drop down to online, and that’s where Carlton Arms came in. And now? I guess you could say we got a little lucky :)
F.M.: lol
J.Z.: Last year, due to bad luck and some bad planning on our end we ended up all the way in Carlton Arms.  The rooms are nice, but it’s a bit of a walk especially in the winter.  We have most of our classes in Mudd, Pupin, etc. so EC will be very convenient!
8. How are you going to decorate?
A.S.: That’s a group discussion, but if I get my way, we’re gonna get a dartboard, massive Columbia flags, and my usual posters. We all have our own tastes, so we’ll probably plaster the walls with our own interests and possessions that we’ve amassed over the years. And, of course, the best decoration for the suite is the bonds of friendship.
F.M.: decorate? decorate what?