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2nd place on PhD reserve list


I'm a bit confused and need some help deciphering all of this...I have just been sent a certificate of offer for my dream PhD project and supervisor, at my dream university. However, they have explained that I placed second and am therefore on a reserve list, so therefore my offer does not include funding. I'm waiting to hear as to whether the first candidate has accepted or not, however, in the mean time - should I still count this as being offered a genuine place on the course? It was an official letter, however their wording of my being on a reserve list has left me sceptical..but surely they wouldn't send an offer letter if they weren't going to offer me a place (funded or not). Has anyone else been in a similar position please?