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Broadway Ticket Lottery Odds

Odds of winning a Broadway ticket lottery and how to maximize the chances of winning

Many Broadway productions offer a ticket lottery service. It is a way for people to enter for the chance to purchase affordably priced tickets to see a Broadway show. All Broadway ticket lotteries are free to enter. If someone wins the ticket lottery, they will be given the chance to purchase a ticket for the show, which is usually on the same day or a couple of days in advance. The winning lottery tickets costs between $10 and $50.

How To Enter a Broadway Ticket Lottery

While in-person ticket lotteries used to be more common, nearly all productions have switched to using online ticket lotteries. The online lotteries are more accessible and can reach a greater amount of people when compared to the in-person lottery process. Additionally, in-person lotteries have become less popular due to potential issues like excessive crowding. In 2016, Hamilton used to hold an in-person lottery, which had anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 people and overcrowded the sidewalk bringing traffic to a halt every day. Wicked is one Broadway show that continued to hold a daily in-person ticket lottery for 26 orchestra tickets, long after all the other Broadway shows had given up. Entering an in-person lottery greatly increases the chances of winning, since most people are not able or willing to show up at the theatre to enter, especially during the colder months. Most shows prefer online ticket lotteries which can be entered on a desktop computer or mobile device. Some of these online lotteries require you to login to a social media account, which has upset some fans who view this as an invasion of privacy.

What Are The Odds Of Winning A Broadway Lottery?

The odds of winning a Broadway lottery ticket depends on how many people enter the lottery and how many tickets the show makes available. Some shows have a set amount of tickets available, like Hamilton, which offer 46 lottery tickets every day. In 2016, there were approximately 10,000 people entering the Hamilton lottery every day. If there are 46 tickets available, and 10,000 people enter the lottery, the odds of winning are 1 in 435, assuming that everyone selects two tickets. If everyone selects only one ticket, the odds of winning are 1 in 217.

Others base their lottery ticket inventory on what tickets they still have available. While it is impossible to know exactly how many tickets are offered on any given day, the average is about 20 tickets per show. If 1,000 people enter a lottery, and everyone selects two tickets, the odds of winning are, 1 in 100.

How To Maximize Your Chances Of Winning

If someone plans to see a show with another friend, the best way to maximize the odds of winning is to both enter the lottery for two tickets. This gives them two entries into the lottery, doubling the chances of winning. They should not enter the lottery as two people requesting single tickets. While the odds for winning a single ticket are better than winning two tickets, the chances of both people winning the lottery is much lower.

If someone plans to see a show alone, the best way to win is to enter the lottery for only one ticket. While lottery entries are not drawn based on how many tickets are requested (one or two), the chances are still better if you enter for one ticket only. For example, the Hamilton lottery has a set amount of 46 tickets for each show, if a lottery winner requesting one ticket is pulled, the total amount of tickets left becomes 45. This guarantees that another person requesting a single ticket must win, since the amount of tickets left is now odd. Additionally, when the lottery is trying to find another single ticket winner, the pool of potential winners is much smaller, since most people request two tickets, giving single ticket entrants a much higher chance of winning.

Odds of winning a Broadway ticket lottery and how to maximize the chances of winning

The ‘Hamilton’ Lottery Odds Are Depressing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve undoubtedly at least heard of the breakout Broadway musical Hamilton , which stars the insanely talented Lin-Manuel Miranda and centers around the life of — you guessed it — Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. In fact, the production is so incredible that it’s received a whopping 16 nominations for the 2016 Tony Awards. That’s how good this show is. So naturally, everyone wants to go and see, which means ticket prices are through the roof and have many trying their luck at the Hamilton Lottery, which has gone digital and can now be done with ease online. However, applying for the ticket is pretty much the only thing easy about it because the odds of winning the Hamilton Lottery are just downright depressing when you crunch the numbers.

For starters, the mere fact that you can participate in the lottery online automatically diminishes the likelihood of winning. Because now, instead of the competition being between you and a few other avid Broadway enthusiasts who actually showed up in person for the lottery, you now have thousands upon thousands of people who can do it from the comfort of their home lap top. So that right there is a pretty depressing thought, though it certainly isn’t the only factor to consider.

According to the Hamilton Lottery FAQ page, an average of 10,000 people enter the lottery each day. So considering that there are only 21 tickets available in total per day, your chances of winning are minuscule at best, especially since a majority of those who win probably requested two tickets instead of one. That makes the odds even less favorable since there’s less tickets to hand out to other parties. How less favorable, you may ask? Thanks to the helpful chart Mashable.com put together, we know exactly how dire the situation is.

Based on the site’s graph, the odds can be summed up in two different ways. If the 21 tickets are solely distributed among single entries, then the odds of you winning is 476 to one. However, if the 21 tickets are given out to 10 pairs of two (meaning 10 people received two tickets) and one single-ticket entry (in order to equal 21), then the odds of you winning jumps to a dismal 909 to one. And to help put things into an even greater perspective, they also compare your chances of going to see Hamilton to a list of other unlikely things to happen to you.

For instance, you have a better chance of writing a New York Times best-seller or dating a millionaire than you do of winning this lottery. The good news is, though, that the odds are higher than they are of you getting struck by lightning, which is kinda comforting at the very least, right? But let’s not forget one very important thing about the lottery — it’s a game of luck. It doesn’t matter how slim the odds are, there’s still always a chance they could come out in your favor.

So don’t let all of these stats scare you away from trying. Luck could always be on your side, especially if you participate in the draw on a daily basis. Just don’t be all that surprised if that highly coveted golden ticket ends up going to someone else.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve undoubtedly at least heard of the breakout Broadway musical Hamilton , which stars the insanely talented Lin-Manuel Miranda and centers around the life of — you guessed it — Founding… ]]>