Children who are neither specially gifted nor famous are given preference

“The families sitting in the dim room add up to maybe 60 people altogether. That is a lot of people among whom to spread only a little bit of luck. Each year the bilingual school admits 100 children to its primary classes. Fifty places go mainly to Americans, with a small proportion of them allocated through an ‘international list’ to children who speak English as their mother tongue. This list also has a sister, a waiting list. But it is the other 50 places that are hotly contested. They are so coveted that only a raffle can ensure a modicum of fairness.”