Hi all - apologies for the mini essay but I've tried to do some analysis on the historical CEAC data from DV2017-20 and tried to make some sense of the numbers. Take this with a grain of salt given how much uncertainty is associated with the numbers and how things change year to year but thought I would share it as it may be helpful to some one out there. Appreciate any input/feedback from the helpful experts out there if they have it. I suggest skipping to the bottom if numbers aren't your thing.
I've tried to work out the success rate of a case number i.e. the probability that an actual CN (i.e. not a hole) in a given year will either be issued a visa/visas or their case number becomes current. I think this is a good metric because it takes the year-to-year change in the holes rate out of consideration, for the most part. It is also conservative as no all the Ready status became Issued status.
On average in DV17-20: of the OC case numbers that became current, ~55% didn't respond, ~15% were refused visas and ~40% were successful. The success rate fluctuated between 38%-45%.
In DV21, there are 2815 selectees and the highest known case is ~3350. Assuming a derivative rate of 1.65 (selectees / applicant; based of previous years and Brit Simon guidance) then the number of actual cases / total cases is 51% (i.e. the hole rate is 49%).
Assuming there are 800 visas available for OC in DV21 (again this is an assumption and it fluctuates year to year; 800 is per Brit Simon), we can work out the numbers of case numbers required to fulfill the visa quota:
800 visas / 1.65 = 485 winning case numbers required
485 winning cases / 40% success rate = 1212 actual cases required
1212 actual cases / 0.51 (i.e. 1 - hole rate) = 2470 total cases required
So based on these assumptions the cutoff case number will be about 2470.
This number will be lower if the hole rate is lower, the success rate is higher and the issued OC visas is lower. Likewise it will be higher if the hole rate is higher (i.e. higher maximum CN), success rate is lower and OC visas issued is higher.
I don't think the hole rate will be any lower because a case number of ~3350 is known (unless thats not valid). The hole rate in DV20 was 59% vs. my assumption of 49% so I think its conservative (note the assumed derivative rate cancels itself out in my calculations so the assumption isn't a factor i.e. lower rate increases the # of winning cases required but lowers the hole rate). So the key variables are the success rate and the numbers of visas issued.
If the success rate is 45% and visas issued is 700 then the max CN is 1,920
If the success rate is 38% and visas issued is 850 then the max CN is 2,763
So this gives a range of 1900-2800.
I appreciate there are a lot of assumptions and anything can happen (e.g. Trump, embassies shut etc) but hopefully this helps. I'm heeding to the mantra of wait-and-see (with my fingers crossed) but also realistic that success is guaranteed (my case number is a touch over 2000).
Happy to answer any questions or hear any flaws in my methodology and good luck to everyone.